Reagan County Schools Turning to Laptops Instead of Textbooks

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

BIG LAKE - Reagan County Administrators are doing away with textbooks - and almost completely relying on laptops.  They say the new technology is improving education and also improving discipline.

For the past three years, the district has provided laptops for every student on their high school campus.

"As a father, my son's used it for three years and it's awesome," Superintendent Marshall Harrison, said.

He says it's a sign of the times.

"We can't fight the technology, so we wanted to embrace the technology into our district, and that's what we've done," Harrison said.

Harrison says they've been super successful, so this year, they started putting them in the hands of their 8th graders.  Technology Director Tracey McPhaul says the laptops offer advanced, updated curriculum.

"There's certain kids that just really need to touch those books, and so we have those available for them, but for the most part, everything that they do is on the computers," McPhaul said.

Advanced curriculum is not the only thing these laptops can provide. In their hallways, there aren't any lockers, because with the laptops, students don't need them.

"We've implemented all of their textbooks onto the laptops, so we've kind of eliminated that process," McPhaul said.

With no lockers to congregate around, students are making it to classes on time and staying out of trouble in the hallways.  Couple that with the academic success they say they're seeing in their kids, administrators say they're thrilled with the results.

"It's helped with tardies, it's helped with discipline, we've just seen an overall, good outcome from having the laptops with the kids," McPhaul said.