(TNS) — Students in the Bluffs School District soon could be using technology to study in 3D as the district begins considering the use of virtual reality software and goggles in its classrooms.
The district's board hasn't approved the purchase of the equipment, Superintendent Kevin Blankenship said, but the school will get a demonstration of the technology's uses in the classroom within the next few weeks before the board decides whether to move forward.
"We're always looking at what's available," Blankenship said. "The whole wide world is becoming a tech-based economy at this point. You have to be at least tech-literate. We want them to be familiar with what is being used."
Blankenship said the virtual reality 3D primarily will be used during science, but also can be used in other classes.
A primary example of its use is for the dissection of a frog, without needing a real frog.
Blankenship said the district recently updated its network to accommodate more internet activity within its buildings and has instituted a 1-on-1 computer program for several of its grades in the past few years.
The use of technology in classrooms has been increasing as technology expands and more and more fields require the use of computers or other devices.
That is why many districts are spending money to keep equipment and software up to date -- to expose students to technology that could be used after they graduate.
North Greene Superintendent Lawrence Coultas said that district is constantly updating its software and equipment to keep it current for the students.
"I'm pretty happy in terms of the district's focus on technology," Coultas said. "Our students need to be exposed to using computers or other forms of technology for the workforce. We want our students to be competitive in the job market."
Coultas said the district also is looking at different technologies, such as 3D printers and online programs.
Blankenship said the use of technology and online programs in the classroom as a supplement to teachers' lessons can improve learning and help students focus on areas they need to improve.
The Bluffs district started a online SAT prep this year that provides practice tests and individualized courses that address areas a student needs to improve on before the test.
"Say you have a problem in area A, an area I know, and I need help in area B, an area you are good at -- it addresses that," Blankenship said. "Instead of a teacher standing up in front of the class saying, 'First we'll learn about A, then B. It personalizes education."
©2017 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.