Laptops of LaRue featured in Dell video

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By Linda Ireland

LaRue County High School students were handed their own laptops – little blue Dells – last October.
Since then, Dell has received such positive feedback about the Laptops of LaRue Initiative, the company has decided to document the program.
A film crew from Seattle and support staff from Dallas arrived at the school to interview students and staff Friday. The video will be available on Dell’s website dedicated to technology solutions for kindergarten through 12th grade, www.dell.com/casestudies.
Several students, including Raena Hubbell, Lauren Newby, Zach Lee, Shelby Rogers and Emily Armes, were selected for green screen interviews in the school library.
Hubbell, dressed in all black for her interview, answered questions about using the technology in the classroom and how it would prepare her for a future career.
Armes talked about the use of computers in her science class.
The film crew also visited four classrooms.
Principal Paul Mullins, who was interviewed for the film, said the LOL story will probably be picked up by several school tech magazines.
“The visit went extremely well,” he said. “They were impressed with our school, pace of our implementation and the discussions they had with teachers and kids.”
“The visit allowed us to celebrate where we are in this process,” Mullins added. “Teachers are doing a great job in implementing … still a work in progress but all is going well.”
Mullins said he “outlined the journey through the laptop initiative so that those interested in implementing a similar program will have a one-to-one guide.”
Dell has been helpful throughout the process, from delivery of the computers to training teachers and staff, Mullins said.
“… for professional development, Dell has been second to none.”  
LCHS chemistry teacher said “it was great to see such a high level of interest about our use of technology from people outside the district.”
“We’ve worked hard the last few years to give the students of LaRue County the highest-quality education possible and it was great to be able to show off how technology is enabling us to continue to improve what we as educators are able to offer the students of this district,” Cecil said.
Freddie Newby, chief information officer for LaRue County Public Schools, said the district is the fourth in Kentucky to give each student a laptop, and Dell’s interest is evidence that the change is positive.
Kay Kerr, kindergarten to 12th grade marketing manager for Dell, said company sales representatives would use the video and others like it to show educators the results of making such a change.
The videos also can help give confidence to schools considering making similar transitions, Kerr said.
Amber Coulter and Ronnie Benningfield contributed to this story.