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4/10/2013 10:15:00 AM
School maintaining tech standards
Student gets a thrill learning on computer at St. Mary School in Stayton.
Student gets a thrill learning on computer at St. Mary School in Stayton.

STAYTON — Small-town St. Mary Catholic School here has achieved new technology advances in the past year.

The additions include a cart full of Google Chromebooks, solid-state computers that are faster and more durable than typical laptops.

That comes in handy when it's grade schoolers manning the machines, says Rick Schindler, the principal.

The entire campus operates on a Google platform, meaning teachers and students have their own accounts and can store documents, including science projects, on the Google cloud. That's becoming more common in high schools, but is rare in grade schools.  

"They can work on their things anywhere that has internet access," Schindler says.
The tech lab, which comes in addition to the laptops, is tied in to the system and uses Google Chromebox computers. The school auction is linked to the Google system. Purchasers can view items online and pay via web.

The additions come to a school that already has digital projectors and document cameras in classrooms and several high-tech interactive white boards.

Schindler can imagine going to digital textbooks some day, but he's waiting for the kinks to be worked out.  

Coming up soon at St. Mary's are additional observation cameras and other school security measures.

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