Westside’s one-to-one laptop program started when Principal Pat Hutchings and school administrators asked themselves “what do students need to know and what are the best tools to teach them?” The goal was to use technology in a way that enhanced learning and empowered teachers to use the technology how it worked best for them. The challenge was doing so in a way that wouldn’t detract from learning but rather make learning easier and more interactive for every type of student.
After the one-to-one program was implemented, Westside saw ACT and SAT test scores reach an all-time high in the school’s history. A survey conducted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha also found that students were more engaged and thought learning was more fun. The technology helped open the doors of communication for many students. By giving the students a forum to ask questions and interact 24/7, class time is freed up for more discussion and debate, helping to grow critical thinking skills.