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Technology, more harm than good?

A Liverpool Middle School teacher still remembers life before the creation of the pocket calculator. As a high school student in the '60s, this teacher, *who requested to not be identified by name, was forced to scribble down calculations and solve trigonometry equations on the margins of her paper.

But those days are over in the Liverpool Central School District. For the last decade, students and teachers throughout the district have routinely operated computers and projectors.

This year, however, the district hopes to take technology to the next level. During a board of education meeting on Nov. 2, the technology department proposed the 2010-13 District Technology Plan, which calls for an inclusive upgrade to school equipment.

"The last influx of technology was back in 2002, so we haven't had an upgrade of technology in quite some time," said Bonnie Ladd, director of technology. "This plan is to cover three years of replacement and it aligns with our district vision and mission, which is to collaborate, create, distribute and access and that's what we're hoping to accomplish."

The advances include implementing multifunction projectors, iPod touches and SMART boards, which are interactive whiteboards, in all 15 scholastic facilities that cater to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. With a SMART board, students can physically touch the board's surface to control and activate computer applications.

In addition to the students' opportunities, professors also have the chance to produce sound-enhanced lesson plans and scan paper documents into visual slides to improve the teaching experience.

"I think it'll be an exciting venture for the 21st century," Ladd said. "We're trying to make every classroom a prepared environment and I'm hoping it will motivate and enhance the curriculum."

To persuade board members to approve the pitch, Ladd also hosted a live, online discussion between herself, board members and an Apple computer expert during the presentation.

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