Locally, the Montevideo School District seems to be embracing technology, and staff there are taking steps to prepare for an ever-increasing use in the classroom.
Last year, thanks to the 10-year technology referendum, kindergarten though fifth grade, and some sixth grade classrooms were fully updated with interactive SMARTboards as well as integrated audio and visual technology. This year, that process will continue through twelfth grade classrooms.
Without the levy, it would have taken the Montevideo School District 25 years to make these upgrades, which have taken the classrooms out of the 1950s, and now a new opportunity is helping the district look even further into the future, and prepare for an even greater increase in technology in schools. A $64,000 K-12 Telecommunications Grant from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for network bandwidth upgrades has given the school district a major head start.
"It's not something that's big and flashy and interesting to a lot of people," said Scott Ripley, technology coordinator for the school district. "But it allows for a lot of possibilities in the future ... we're getting setup for 10 gig speeds."
The $64,000 grant has allowed the school district to upgrade three 20-year-old network switches at the high school, middle school and Ramsey Elementary. It's also allowed the installation of a 10 gigabit redundant cable from the high school to the middle school, which will allow 10 gigabit speeds in both directions. In most homes, 20 megabit speeds are considered desirable, and there are 1,000 megabits in a gigabit. Most businesses don't even use that fast of a connection.
"Those are some supersonic speeds," Ripley summed up.
Along with the upgrade, which is running a wire underground, a second tunnel is being created to allow for any future updates that are necessary. A rope will be put in place to pull through another line whenever it might be required.
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