Germantown — At least one Germantown School Board Member does not want the district to purchase 210 Google Chromebooks because of what he said is the company's support for President Barack Obama.
School Board member Bruce Warnimont said he does not support Chromebooks because he doesn't think it is the right device for the district.
He said he also will not support the Chromebooks because they are a Google product and Google has a history of supporting President Barack Obama.
The School Board tabled the decision to purchase 210 Chromebooks to replace School District laptops for the 2013-14 school year.
You can see more on Google's political activity on its U.S. Public Policy Page. You can also see the top PAC, individual and contributors to the 2012 presidential campaigns at Opensecrets.org.
The Chromebooks would replace the wireless laptops. They function in the cloud, where all the information is stored, which allows students to access material both at home and in the classroom.
The cost for the 210 Chromebooks and five carts to hold them is about $63,200.
Director of Teaching and Learning Maria Kucharski said they did not want to ask for Chromebooks until the they knew the wireless infrastructure would be updated. The upgrade was approved at the previous board meeting. The district piloted the use of Chromebooks this past year at the high school, middle school and MacArthur Elementary. They found the current wireless system did not have the capacity to support the device. The new system would.
The board decided to revisit this issue in July when Director of Technology Marc Gabrysiak is available to answer further questions.
School Board President Bob Soderberg said he wants to make sure that Chromebooks are the right devices for the district. At the end of July, administration will present the School Board with a technology plan. The plan focuses more on strategies and classroom initiatives centered on new technology, not necessarily devices. Soderberg asked that the plan include what devices would go with what initiatives to give a better understanding of what is needed in the classroom.
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