The educators at Murray City School District are taking a new approach to tech access and curriculum. The district’s PowerUp initiative, launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, aims for the universal availability of important resources needed for effective remote learning. This includes a “1:1 initiative” providing a Chromebook laptop to every student in the district, and the PowerPlay LTE initiative, which provides 5G LTE Broadband hotspots, gateways, and direct fiber to ensure internet connections capable of sustained remote classroom connection for all students. These resources ensure all students have access to remote education in our current circumstances.
Such an endeavor creates unique opportunities for students to get hands-on tech training. The PowerPlay program employs several student interns who are closely involved in helping provide these tech resources to the district. Apart from assisting with the marketing and branding for the program, they perform Chromebook repairs and help service the 5G LTE connections. As Melissa Hamilton, the director of elementary education for the district, said, “Our PowerPlay Interns are the engine behind making our 1:1 device for all 6500 students in our district a reality.” Broken devices are sent to the district where the interns are performing repairs and return the device within a 24-hour period to ensure no remote classroom time is lost. To ensure these students have the connection they need for their remote learning, PowerPlay interns continue to install radios on all buildings, assemble Cradlepoint Routers, Hot Spots, and other WiFi receivers. This is a new kind of curriculum, one providing these interns with important technical skills for postsecondary jobs. In the process, they are helping their fellow classmates get the best remote learning experience available. As Hamilton put it, “our interns are doing such amazing work.”
For more information about the Murray City School District’s PowerUp program and their amazing PowerPlay interns, you can check out their website: Murray PowerUp