The number of laptops, tablet computers and other devices in Vermont schools has exploded in the last several years, according to a new Agency of Education technology survey.
Schools own about 85,000 devices for student use, up from about 45,000 in the same survey just two years ago. Vermont has about 77,000 students in kindergarten through high school, according to an online enrollment report for the most recent school year.
"We’re just pretty wired, is all I can say," said Ellen Thompson, director of instruction and information services at Essex Town School District, where technology use starts in kindergarten and each student in grades 6-8 receives a dedicated computer.
The Agency of Education wants all schools to provide a dedicated computer for each students, also known as "one-to-one computing."
Much of the recent school technology surge came as schools bought Chromebooks, which are inexpensive laptops that rely on internet programs and have supplanted traditional desktop computers. Chromebooks make up 47 percent of all student computer devices, up from 28 percent in 2015. Only 16 percent of school devices are desktop computers, according to the school technology survey.