Laptops given to each student in Fort Osage School District

FORT OSAGE, Mo. - In the Fort Osage School District, a student's notebook isn't what it used to be.

Debra Fremouw's eighth grade class is learning to use a brand new classroom tool: Google Chromebooks. They're simple, $250, internet-friendly laptops that Fort Osage thinks represent the future of learning.

"I think this is how the world is moving. I think computers are always something that are going to be around," Fremouw said.

The district spent nearly half a million dollars to buy 1,500 ChromeBooks.They hope to send one home with every middle and high school student by the 2016 school year.

There are now 1,575 laptops district-wide as part of the district's 1:1 initiative.

In November, seventh graders will be the first to take the specially-engraved laptops home

For now, students are testing out the computers: writing papers, sending emails. They are even getting homework reminders via twitter.

"Our parents are old so they're not going to know how to use the technology, but we are. We're used to this. This is in," eighth grader Erica Hallman said.

"The kids are familiar with the new technology. They use it every day. But the teachers, we're still adjusting to the constant changing times," Fremouw said.

And adjust they must; more changes are ahead.

The district plans to start teaching a new typing class soon for second graders as well as put a Chromebook in the hands of each student in 7th-12th grade in the next three years.

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