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Rye Brook Schools Seek Improvements in Technology

RYE BROOK, N.Y. – The Blind Brook Board of Education received a multi-faceted presentation on increasing technology within the district on Monday. Featuring testimony from a teacher, students, a former student, a technology planning committee member, and technology director Colin Byrne, the presentation gave an overview of the district's current technology in addition to stressing the importance of technological advancement.

According to Byrne, the district has already integrated computers into every classroom, utilized SMART Boards, purchased presentation software and created wireless Internet access throughout the middle and high school.

"We want to emphasize that this technology is not just for show," Byrne said. "But it is actually technology that is useful and valuable to our students."

Blind Brook High School Junior Lara Cohen spoke about how technology helps cater to each particular student.

"SMART Boards allow for visual learners, like me, to best succeed," Cohen said.

Senior Jake Visoky also participated in the presentation and spoke about how the school's current computers are not getting the job done. According to Visoky, the three biggest issues facing the students are inhibited computer access, the lack of a full-time computer instructor and outdated equipment.

"The world will not wait for us," Visoky said at the conclusion of his presentation. "Either we jump on the bandwagon now or we are left behind."

Supplementing the testimony from Visoky and Cohen was high school graduate Jake Sussman, a 2004 graduate, who spoke at length about how computer skills are necessary in college and beyond.

"You don't know what route you are going to take in life, but regardless these applications are incredibly important," Sussman said. "The education I got early on put me light years ahead of everybody else. These are skills that are irreplaceable."

While the student testimonials provided classroom perspective, Ridge Street Elementary School fifth grade science teacher, Robin Willig, provided the other.

“I was a really reluctant iPad study participant, unlike many of my colleagues," Willig said in the opening. "The process of learning tech can be intimidating and time consuming. That being said, I now think that Wi-Fi and the iPad have revolutionized the way I teach."

Willig expressed that initially she was concerned that adding technology into the classroom could inhibit the learning process. However, she quickly learned that it was the exact opposite.

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