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Students benefit from technological advances

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex County School Board heard accolades Monday night for two current programs that school officials feel will make the county school system “even better.”

This year the school board bought a share of ownership in HRETA/WHRO public media and, with it, access to countless educational resources costing $2 per student for a total of $2,400. Through WHRO membership, the system has been able to save tens of thousands of dollars in what it would have cost to have purchased that access outright, said WHRO CEO Bert Schmidt.

Schmidt indicated that a recent non-member school had to pay $400,000 for similar services. “It has and will really pay off for you to have joined WHRO as a partner,” he said.

WHRO-TV digital Channel 15 is the public broadcasting service (PBS) member station for Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News. It is owned by the Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Center, a consortium of 19 school divisions, including Middlesex. 

The program provides technical assistance to teachers; classroom resources to assist students in reading and other subjects; solutions to dropout crisis with a public program called “American Graduate: Let’s make it Happen”; and much more, said Schmidt.

The school system also recently purchased and provided KUNO Android devices for all students and teachers at Middlesex High School. Students books are on KUNO online and the internet is also available. 

Several students spoke at the meeting and noted the devices kept them from having to carry heavy books around and from having to go back to their lockers if they were to forget a book.

High school principal Jeannie Duke said the school system is far advanced compared to other area school systems by providing KUNOs. “We are arming our children for the future because this is what they will use when they go to college,” she said.

“Overall the KUNO program has set our school system apart from others, and will give our students an advantage when they go to college or into the workplace,” said Duke.

posted 11.13.2013

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