WARSAW — Warsaw Community School Corporation’s chief technology officer proposed a new learning system that would continue to change the way learning is conducted — far removed from the nostalgic picture of a studious pupil seen carrying a mountain of text books from class to class.
“This is a massive proposal and has the opportunity to provide to our teachers and staff one of the largest digital collections of content in the world,” said Brad Hagg to the corporation’s board of trustees at its monthly work session Tuesday, March 13.
Hagg referred to a proposal for the corporation to adopt the Gale Virtual Reference Library, a collection of more than 2,600 electronic books and a 1,200 title digital professional development library.
“It’s incredible, what we’re going to put in our hands and it’s things we could have never imagined 10 years ago that we’re going to be able to offer them,” Hagg said.
Hagg said that currently all WCSC schools are “using academic databases to do research projects and to push students forward with learning in all our buildings.”
Warsaw schools already rank 14th in the state of Indiana in usage of Gale databases, which includes libraries and colleges. “This would expand and really make it easier for teachers to use.”
A big advantage to the proposed partnership would be checkout restrictions.
Once one student grabs the book, they have exclusive use of it and nobody else can get to it,” he said. “That’s a crime because you have to pay for every time a student checks one out. These 2,600 books can be used by all 7,000 students in our district at the exact same time.”
Hagg said the system would also allow for students to download content to their electronic notebooks in order to take the information home and study without having to have internet access.
The cost for such a partnership, according to Hagg, will be $58,100 in 2018; $75,200 in 2019, 2020 and 2021; and will drop to $43,200 by 2022.
Hagg told the board he will be presenting the proposal to the corporation’s curriculum committee this week and hoped to be able to put the plan in front of the board for approval by the March 19 regular meeting of the board.
“My hope is that this content will be so easy to access and the teachers and students will engage with it on such an amazing level that we’ll start to take a hard look at how we do text books at Warsaw Community Schools,” Hagg said.