Waterloo school board approves technology purchases | Education News

Waterloo school board approves technology purchases | Education News

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WATERLOO — Waterloo Community Schools is replacing classroom technology at three of its middle schools.

The Board of Education on Monday approved a $287,100 purchase of interactive display screens for Bunger and Hoover middle schools and George Washington Carver Academy. The 87 Promethean ActivPanels are being purchased from CDW-G, an Illinois company that has supplied the devices to the district in the past. The price for each one is $3,300, $670 less than Waterloo Schools paid in the past.

Matt O’Brien, the district’s executive director of technology, described the ActivPanels as “huge 75-inch touch screens that are also smart TVs” with a number of apps built in. The new devices are replacing aging ActivBoards that are 11 1/2 years old.

“They’re becoming more and more difficult for us to support,” said O’Brien. “Quite honestly, it’s become a big challenge.”

The district began phasing in the ActivPanels primarily at its four middle schools in 2017. The current round of purchases will complete replacement of the devices at the at Bunger, Carver and Hoover.

Board members also approved a three-year contract with GoGuardian to supply content filtering and classroom management software for district computers. The district will pay $43,633 annually. It includes 7,500 licenses for content filtering software and 10,000 licenses for classroom management software.

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