Galesburg schools compute the future with Chromebook deal

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Numbers come alive at Lombard Middle School. That's where math students find new ways to learn. They're helping to launch the district's 1:1 Computer Program.

"It's easy with the computers when you have internet-based programs that you can specialize per student," said teacher Rachel Ford.

Galesburg schools will spend just over $1 million in federal and state funding to unveil the complete program this fall.

It will cost about $330,000 each year to renew the program each year. The district still expects to save money on books and paper expenses.

Some 2,500 students will get an Acer Chromebook. That will cover 6th-12th graders.

"Every different section of society is using technology rather than print," said Superintendent Bart Arthur. "That's what we're wanting to get to."

From equations to computers, Galesburg is moving into the future. Students will be writing, reading and researching in the digital age.

"The student engagement is incredible," Arthur said.

Lombard Middle School is participating in the pilot program. It's already enhancing learning.

Kids will be able to use the Chromebooks in class and at home this fall. Some assignments will use the computers while others won't.

"They can do a lot of the research on their own," Arthur said. "Before, teachers had to search for solutions."

Galesburg also needs computers for electronic state testing. Younger grade levels will share computers at first. It's a program with room to grow.

"When I'm thinking about the computers, math is what I focus on," Ford said. "Not only learning the math content, but discovering how it applies to the real world."

It's a world of computers that's adding up for Galesburg kids.