Laptop 'rollout' scheduled for Oct. 16

LaRue County High School students and parents receive computer training

The LaRue County Herald News
September 15, 2010
By Linda Ireland

In a few weeks, all LaRue County High School students will receive laptops through the district's 21st Century Learning Initiative.

The "laptop rollout" will take place Saturday, Oct. 16, according to LCHS Principal Paul Mullins.

"We will begin with a brief meeting in the gym and then the students will be directed to designated areas for distribution," said Mullins. "Over the next week of school, students will receive extensive training on how to use the laptops and the rules ... for care and ownership."

Some training for students began last week when Debbie Wheatley, a representative from the Attorney General's office spoke to students about Internet safety.

Wheatley reminded the teens of well-publicized cases of cyberbullying (taunting or threatening someone through social networking sites or e-mail) and sexting (sending suggestive photos over the Internet). She added that photos posted on the Internet could follow a person for many years.

She brought up the case of Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, only a few years older than the students, who was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. The photograph hit the Internet and Phelps continues to deal with the fallout in loss to his finances and reputation.

She also warned the students about putting too much personal information on their Facebook or MySpace accounts, as it provides great opportunity for identity thieves.

Through a slide presentation, Wheatley showed instances of inappropriate photographs and information placed on networking sites by LCHS students. Identities were concealed to avoid embarrassment to the students.

"This can affect job and scholarship opportunities," she said.

Most of the students were attentive during the hour-long session.

Parents are also required to take training before their children are issued a laptop. Freshman and sophomore parents took training Sept. 13-14. Junior and senior parents will be instructed 6 p.m. Sept. 20-21.

Teachers were trained on usage and software in July and August.

The school board voted in June to provide the computers to students. More than $1 million has been set aside to sustain the program.

Laptop fees ($20 for most students) are used to replace and maintain the computers.

This story, written by Linda Ireland, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The LaRue County Herald News. Read more stories from The LaRue County Herald News at www.laruecountyherald.com.