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A worthwhile investment

In the right hands, state-of-the-art instructional technology can go a long way toward increasing student’s academic success and engagement.

The Beaufort County Schools Board of Education last week made a $1 million investment in improving classroom technology. That money will bring in new TVs and accessories to be used in classrooms around the district.

$1 million is a hefty price tag, even more so amid the economic uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  But the school board already had set aside money to cover technological upgrades, and COVID relief money coming in from the government will help as well.

This purchase makes sense. The time to invest in new educational technology is now; just ask any teacher, parent or student who’s dealt with the challenges of switching between in-person and virtual learning over the past year. Yes, using TVs, tablets and other devices can help increase educational capabilities. As a couple of teachers told the school board last week, new technology can open new doors in terms of lesson planning and classroom management. The new devices also lessen the need for projectors, SMART boards and other pieces of equipment, some of which are very outdated.

Just as important is the fact that increasing digital proficiency among teachers and students will make any future switch to or from remote learning much easier to handle.  That’s a lesson school districts across the state learned last March, when a worst-case scenario unfolded and schools had to scramble to figure out what education would look like, sound like and feel like in the COVID-19 era.

The purchases approved by the school board last week are part of the district’s ongoing efforts to update its technology supply. Many of those upgrades are much needed, and they’ll introduce students and teachers to new opportunities to develop creativity, critical thinking and teamwork skills. We look forward to seeing what our local schools can accomplish with these new tools.