The school district adopted the 1 to 1 initiative this year after the May 22 tornado, providing laptops to all high schoolers. A goal for the near future, Assistant Superintendent Angie Besendorfer told the Post is to provide laptops for all of the district's eighth graders:
After the tornado last May destroyed several schools in Joplin, the decision was made essentially to go textbook free at three sites hosting high school kids from Joplin High School and the Franklin Technology Center. The United Arab Emirates donated money to buy each student a laptop.
The response from students has been mixed, said Angie Besendorfer, the district’s assistant superintendent. She said the transition has proved difficult for some kids accustomed to a standard routine of answering questions at the end of a chapter, but administrators are pleased with the online learning and hope 8th-graders also will go essentially textbook free.
“It’s a little bit more work on the side of the students in that they are having to think and problem solve and do things differently, and some of our kids are not so fond of that, whereas other kids like it a lot,” Besendorfer said.