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Bridging Colorado's Digital Divide

Benefits of Public Computer Center’s Grant on K-12

Although not specifically targeted by this federal grant (which was aimed at adults and broadband adoption) several Colorado locations provided support for student learning. Please see below for some of those stories.

  • Many Public Computer Centers (PCC) report that students use the PCC for online college courses and many college and high school students come to use Wifi. (Alamosa, East Morgan, Florence, Limon)

  • Dolores Public Library - The library has two workstations with software for students from the school district to take their Accelerated Reading Tests afterschool or on the weekends. They are always busy and with the new laptops we have been able to install the software on two of our laptops which has increased availability for more students to access the tests.

  • Limon Public Library-Every month our preschool and Head Start facilities make at least one visit to the computer lab. This involves approximately 75 students plus their teachers with the students being ages 3-5 years old. They use either STARFALL or most usually to enhance the skills they are working on in the classroom, to listen to a story about seasonal subjects or to do interactive activities that relate to something specific in their curriculum. We also have a non-speaking four year old in the community and although this student doesn't attend preschool or Head Start we are working with him to teach letters and listening skills. We also have many students who are in Middle School and are required to give book reports via Power Point and so many of them work at the library in the computer lab to finish the project they may have begun in school.

  • Fleming School/Public library

  • One of the reasons our BTOP laptop circulation is so good, is because we are located in a school. Not only town patrons use the laptops, but students as well. My husband(a 6th grade, and 9-12 Social Studies teacher) does something called the flipped classroom, where he records his lessons at home, uploads them to a website, and the children watch them during class while he walks around helping them, then comment with blogs. The students come into the library and use laptops for this. He says it makes it like there are two teachers. The website for this is A couple other websites he uses for classes, that are accessed using the laptops during class time are:;;

  • He has used the Ipads and Flipcams and had the kids go on scavenger hunts throughout the school to find examples of social equality, infrastructure, and other concepts. He also uses the Ipads and Flipcams we got for student test. He gives them essential questions, then has them video each other giving the answers, and sometimes debating the answers (or agreeing and adding new points). He then watches the videos and grades them.

  • Our kindergarten teacher uses the Ipads we got with the grants twice a week. She started out with an app called ABCLearn. The kindergartners trace a letter with their fingers to help them learn how to write letters. If they trace it wrong, they have to try again. She has downloaded many free apps on the Ipads to use in learning with her kindergarten class.

  • The 6th grade teacher has borrowed one of the carts of laptops with the printer, and had her students write papers or take notes in class. The 6-12 English teachers have used carts in the same way.

  • Here is another really fabulous story. Here is the article.

  • The girl we made the website and video for took 4th with $2500. Her name is Krisandra (Tannehill or Taylor)

  • Southern Teller, Franklin Ferguson School/Public Library (Cripple Creek):

  • We have taught many basic skills classes for our junior/senior high students to help them with their midterm research projects. We are currently planning a group of Internet safety classes for grades K-6

  • We, at the Literacy Center of Mesa County Libraries have been collaborating with several of the local schools and Head Start programs since acquiring BTOP funding. BTOP funding allowed us to purchase 10 laptops for our mobile laptop lab. Our most long-term collaboration has been with the Dual Immersion Academy. We have been offering computer skills classes for the parents of students attending the school. Many of the parents are not native English speakers so the classes are offered in Spanish and English. Parents are given instruction in basic computer skills, email, Internet, and ParentBridge. ParentBridge is a School District 51 tool that gives parents online access to their students attendance, course history, test score information, and lunch participation. ParentBridge also gives easy access for parents to email teachers. A new class is scheduled to begin this evening. Classes generally are from 4-8 weeks depending on the needs of the parents. We have also given computer workshops for parents whose children attend the local HeadStart programs.

  • In October 2012, the library was asked to work with the Junior High English department to create a unit on plagiarism. We created a PowerPoint Presentation and webquest that twenty-eight seventh graders and thirty-four eighth graders participated in. We used both our BTOP laptops and desktop systems for this class.

  • During November, 2012 our second grade worked on Dinosaur PowerPoint presentations. We used our BTOP laptops with twenty-two young students and demonstrated how a basic PowerPoint presentation was created. The students were asked to pick a dinosaur, find out what geological period the dinosaur lived, what it ate (meat eater or herbivore), description of the dinosaur, and if it lived on land or in the water. The presentation had to have a title slide plus the four descriptive slides about the dinosaur. We taught Microsoft PowerPoint basics to the second graders on the laptops, which was for many of them, their first experience with a laptop. They really considered the experience special. We taught them how to import and cite the sources for their pictures as well. They liked using the laptops and our wireless network because they could sit on the floor with books and type in information anywhere in the library.

  • The library and teaching staff at Cripple Creek-Victor School District work together to coordinate and collaborate on various online activities for our high school students. During the month of December 2012, we worked with our high school seniors on creating a resume for both college and employment using our BTOP laptop systems and Microsoft Office 2010. We also worked with our teaching staff and senior class on a unit entitled "Maxed Out." This unit involved credit card use and FICO scores. The unit was designed for students going to college and entering the workforce and through a webquest,, students learned about how borrowing and spending could shape their futures. We conducted the classes using our BTOP laptop computer systems and our wireless network. Students were able to print out their responses over our wireless network.

  • In January, 2013, we again worked with our graduating seniors taking virtual tours of Colorado Colleges and Universities and worked with our students in filling out FAFSA applications online. Our class sizes ranged from twenty-two to thirty.

  • The wireless network and the laptops give us the flexibility to conduct lessons in our library study areas without disturbing our other library users. We do not have to close down our desktop computer lab for student use during school hours. Our adult computer users can do their online tasks anytime. We did not have this flexibility until the BTOP grant gave us the laptop systems and wireless capability. We have also experienced a growing use of wireless users who bring their own systems into the library, both student and public users.

  • We use our wireless network for story hour for our kindergarten classes, about thirty students every Thursday. Stories are digitized and saved on our server. We can access the stories over the wireless network from one of our laptops and using a LCD projector, show the image on a six foot tall screen for all to see and read along. We no longer have the "I didn't see the picture!" Children's E-books are also available online free for putting up and reading aloud as well.

  • These are just a few of the many things we enjoy with our BTOP laptop systems and wireless network. The grant funds eliminated scheduling conflicts over computer use, allowed us flexibility. The wireless network opened us up for public library patrons to use their own systems within the library, thereby freeing up systems for other computer users. The grant was one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. If you need more uses, let me know. I just took some from classes the last five months.

For additional information contact Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development, 303-866-6730.

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