Robinson explains education foundation at Kiwanis meetingPublished 12:00pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The Alexander City Schools Education Foundation’s Steve Robinson was the guest speaker at Thursday’s Kiwanis Club meeting, and he informed them about the ACSEF’s phase 2 plans.
“The focus of this group, basically, is to assist the education process in our city school systems,” Robinson said.
Phase 1 of fulfilling that mission, Robinson said, involved raising $1 million to implement more technology in the city schools as well as implement or augment fine arts and foreign language programs.
Phase 2 hangs on raising another $1 million.
“That’s a lot of money by anybody’s standards, but the focus with this money is going to be enhancing technology and the learning process,” Robinson said. “Ipads are where we’re focused in phase 2 … What we’re going to do is install a total of 1,710 iPads.”
Robinson said iPads will be distributed throughout the school system, beginning with all AP students, then throughout the high school, then to all middle school students, and then to elementary students in the form of a 30-unit mobile lab for each grade.
Equipping each student with an iPad, Robinson said, will allow them to gain more experience with technology, will grant the schools access to updated textbook material more quickly and more inexpensively and afford the students greater research capabilities.
It is also more cost effective than textbook purchases – each hard copy of a book is about $70.
“The cost of an electronic version of the textbook is about $15,” Robinson said. “So by using the technology, it gives us the opportunity to save some money.”
The money will have to be spent before it can be saved, however. Purchasing the required number of laptops will cost $750,000–$760,000, Robinson said. Placement, maintenance, support and so forth will take the cost up to that $1 million figure.
Robinson said the key is getting more businesses and families involved in raising the money.
“If you get enough households that will pledge $20 a month, then that’s a lot of money that you could raise to help offset some of those large contributions,” Robinson said.