Archbishop Williams High School has gone wireless with the donations from two graduates, bringing the 1949 school completely in line with 21st century technology.
Internet access will now be available throughout the campus. As such, all students will be allowed to use laptops, iPads, or chrome notebooks for educational purposes.
According to college staff, the upgrade will allow students to do electronic research in study halls, take notes in class, and read electronic books.
Additionally, laptops and iPads may be used to replace graphing calculators and other classroom software needs.
In keeping with the new technology, electronic versions of textbooks may be stored and used on laptops or iPads with the teacher’s permission and the publishers’ approval.
“AWHS will urge publishers to make such electronic access available,” a release said.
Although no student will be required to come to school with portable access, the ability to do such is extremely exciting, said Dr. Carmen Mariano, President of Archbishop Williams.
"With teacher guidance and permission, this network will enable every classroom in our school to become a computer lab instantaneously,” he said.
The new technology is also in keeping with the school’s dual enrollment program, which allows high school students to take online courses as well as allow them to take on-campus courses for collegiate credit.
Although opening up the wireless network could be seen as a possible risk to the school, according to Mariano, “we have opted for the most secure and controllable environment available. Only members of our educational community will have access to our network and only approved sites will be accessible,” he said.
Students are reminded to take care of whatever equipment they bring in to school, and school staff have reminded students that the maintenance, repair, and security of devices is still the responsibility of the student.
Although the school will not have a computer department for fixing problems on campus, staff will provide guidance to students wanting to hook up to the network or link to wireless printers.
Although the staff sees this development as a big leap forward, Mariano said the program’s initiation is truly only the first step.
“This is only the beginning," he said. "Within two years, or less, portable technology will be imbedded into the curriculum of every course offered at our school."