PRINCETON — A Utah university is helping local students keep up with their educations during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating 100 tablets to help the Special Education Department of Mercer County Schools.
Independence University in Utah announced the donation Monday.
Lynn Bayle, director of Special Education for Mercer County Schools, said the donation comes at a time when students need more options for virtual learning.
“During our time of crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a much-needed relief for assisting the teachers and families with assistive technology usage,” Bayle said. “Many of our students have registered for the virtual option, which demands a greater need for technology.”
Dr. Alan Hansen, the executive director of Independence University, said donating the tablets is in line with the university’s initiative to enrich the educational experience of all students by making technology more accessible.
“We are aware that technology, and specifically tablets, can make a huge difference in the educational performance and lifetime opportunities for students with special needs,” Hansen stated. “We are grateful to be in a position where we can help in some measure to help these and all students.”
With the donation of 100 tablets, students in Mercer County will benefit in areas from academics to socialization.
“Students are now comfortable using technology and expect the assistive technology as a daily reinforce,” Bayle said. “This will help to ensure student use of individual technology devices to implement individualized learning and support implementation of West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards (WVCCR).”
The tablets will be distributed to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade within 26 different schools. They will be used by more than 1,700 special education students within the school district.
The 100 Supersonic Windows tablets were shipped from Independence University’s offices in Salt Lake City and are in the process of being prepared for use by Mercer County Schools’ students, university officials said.