Board agrees to replace security cameras
EYOTA — The Dover-Eyota School Board on Monday decided to update the district's school security cameras.
Superintendent Bruce Klaehn said the security system, which includes a battery of cameras, recently failed to function properly and is outdated.
"The system isn’t reliable," Klaehn said. "It wasn’t there for us when we were relying on it."
The board approved a measure to spend capital funds to purchase new cameras, software and computer hardware that will allow the schools to keep a closer and higher-resolution eye on hallways, parking lots and other common areas at the elementary and high schools.
Reports on technology were a theme of the night as two high school teachers informed the board how the new netbooks were being used in the classrooms. Social studies teacher Brad Morgan said he is able to use Google calendar and document technology to share information and lesson plans more easily with his students.
"The kids have it tied in so they always know what is going on and what they might have missed if they were gone," Morgan said. Morgan showed the board how he uploads lessons to the Internet cloud and how students access those documents whenever they need them.
Morgan said he is learning the ins and outs of teaching via computer, and some of the lessons he’s learned have been taught by his own students. The only drawback, he said, is that the laptops can be a distraction for students if they don’t remain focused.
"It’s kind of a little bit like a new toy, and I don’t think anyone didn’t think that was going to happen," Morgan said.
Sarah Johnson, who teaches family and consumer sciences, or home economics, said she can grade tests more quickly when they are taken online, giving students faster feedback. Parents who want to try recipes their children learned in class can find them on her class blog.
One negative for Johnson is that some of her ninth-graders don’t have access to the Internet or have to deal with dial-up speeds when logging in from home. To accommodate those students, she makes sure project due dates reflect the time it would take to do the work without computers.
And, like Morgan, Johnson said her biggest challenge is "making sure kids stay on task."