New technology changes coming this school year


Ethan Yarger

Mr. Stibitz

Macy Eamigh, Staff Writer

As of last year, the students of Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School began to receive school issued laptops. With the new school year beginning, more changes are being made and should be expected. The Director of Technology, Mr. Stibitz, shares the details of these changes.

Q: What tech changes should we expect this year?

Mr. Stibitz: “This year’s incoming freshman class have been issued laptops under the district’s One to One initiative… all 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students have a laptop for school and home use… the 7th and 8th grade core classrooms (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies) have had carts of laptops placed permanently in their rooms… all 5th and 6th grade general education classrooms at Clearfield Area Elementary School have been issued laptop carts for the students to use each day. In the 19-20 school year the district has also built a lab with a curriculum that exposes students to various elements of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This is known as the STEM Lab but could also correctly be called a STEAM LAB (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and Arts) since it includes a broadcast studio and desktop publishing tools.”

Q:  Who will the changes affect?

Mr. Stibitz: “These changes affect both the Junior-Senior High and the Elementary School students and Faculty.”

Q: Why are the changes happening?

Mr. Stibitz: “Technology is ubiquitous and ever-changing. In order to adapt, people need a basic set of tech skills. For students preparing for a career, exposure to the STEM/STEAM educational concepts is the beginning of a path to more concentrated education and then employment in these areas.”

Q: How will the changes benefit the school?

Mr. Stibitz: “Now that we truly have 21St Century classrooms and have placed laptops in the hands of our students for daily use, our schools can more flexible in how curriculum is delivered to students and provide a wider selection of content to prepare students for careers and college. In this current year for example, in addition to the STEM Lab, the high school has added several Cyber foreign language courses in which students use their laptops to take the course delivered by online instruction.”

Q: What if these changes take longer than expected?

Mr. Stibitz: “Change can always be difficult and is often fluid. At times it may seem like there is not a definitive endpoint. In the technology world, the first step is to have the proper tools in place, but at the same time, research, thought, discussion and planning are taking place behind the scenes to best utilize the tech tools to create the best opportunities for our students.”

Q: What else would you like our readers to know?

Mr. Stibitz: “It is rewarding to be part of the various technology changes at Clearfield. When I first came here 17 years ago the school had a few hundred computers, a few printers and a painfully slow Internet connection. Now we have over 2000 desktop and laptop computers, interactive Smart Boards and wall mounted LCD projectors in all classrooms, wall mounted touchscreen computers in several rooms, Microsoft Office, Adobe products and High-Speed Internet available to over 2500 users daily. The Technology Department also has a knowledgeable and committed crew who keep the technology working for the end users.  The students at Clearfield have some of the best tools available in public education. The quality of your education benefits not only your future self but the whole Clearfield community and the world.”