Ardmore City Schools will start the upcoming school year with some shiny new tech while their old equipment is on its way out.
The district has been steadily adding TV Smartboards, Chrome Boxes and more current security cameras to its schools for the last few years. ACS Director of Technology Scott Foster said the new equipment will be in place by next year.
“The new camera systems we have are IP cameras, they’re basically a computer,” Foster said. “We’re putting them in every hallway, outside, inside every classroom.”
The old coax camera system is being phased out in favor of an updated system with significantly more cameras. This summer, the department built a new data center that houses LAN, the districtwide server and networks for the entire district resides in the new administration building.
Other major additions include TV smartboards, a more modern update on the interactive whiteboards that have become common in classrooms since their debut in the early 90s.
“The old smartboards use a projector,” Foster said. “And the problem with those is that when you’re in front of them, it casts a shadow in front of the lens.”
The new screens are capable of accessing the internet and accessible by phone or iPad like a Chromecast. The new boards are touch screens with stylus accessories.
Foster said the district started adding the smart boards to classrooms two years ago. The district added them to Charles Evans Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School, completing the shift.
The final major addition are Chrome boxes, small devices that attach to computer monitors and let students access Google Chrome. The boxes are cheaper, smaller and easier to maintain than traditional computer towers.
“Those devices are under $300,” Foster said. “But we can unbox one and have it ready to go in ten minutes.”
Middle and high school students are issued student log-ins for the Chrome Boxes. The boxes also consume less electricity than a typical computer. The old tech, along with other odds and ends, were declared surplus by the ACS Board of Education at a meeting on Tuesday.
“We have an auction and typically get rid of all of it,” Foster said. “It’ll be a public auction, and whatever we have goes.”
Foster said auctions rarely bring in a significant amount of money, as aging technology depreciates quickly.
“It’s amazing, what you pay for it versus when you surplus it,” Foster said. “Something that was $1,000 could bring in like $5.”