Tech Over Time

Do you remember the “new” Internet Club at Bexley High School in the late 90s? Or when you first used a computer at school? Did you ever take typing or keyboarding? Did you work on the Torch staff putting together paper spreads using typewritten pages and printed photos? Did your class move together as a group to the computer lab?

The Internet Club was formed in 1997.

All of those memories highlight how technology in the Bexley Schools has changed and evolved over the years. What has remained constant, however, is the Bexley Education Foundation’s commitment to the School District to ensure that Bexley students have access to the latest technology.

Students working together on the Torch in the early 2000s.

BEF is the Bexley Schools largest source of private funding for technology. In 1987, the Bexley Education Fund, (the precursor to the Bexley Education Foundation) organized a fund drive and raised over $640,000 to purchase computers for the Bexley City School District.   Ever since, the BEF has conducted additional campaigns and made numerous grants to support technology upgrades and enhancements, from Smart Board technology to new desktops and laptops to district-wide Wi-Fi.
When schools closed last March, and there was a shift to distance learning, major technology gaps and inequities were exposed, making it clear that the 1:1 student device program already adopted by the School District needed to be accelerated.  The Bexley Education Foundation (BEF) once again stepped up and made a commitment to the School District to seek private support to cover the full cost, approximately $1 million, to implement the 1:1 student device program.

BEF launched the “One for All” technology campaign last fall and current parents, alumni, parents of alumni and community members have responded generously.  The campaign has now reached 75% of its $1 million fundraising goal.

Students working today, each with their own individualized Chromebook.

The impact of a 1:1 student device program in the Bexley Schools will only continue to increase in the months and years ahead. Teachers are using the devices to engage students in the learning process in new and exciting ways.  “Right now, AP US  History is making documentaries on the Gilded Age and I can’t see how that would even be possible without the mobile technology we have via the Chromebooks. Students have spent a week and a half organizing their storyboards, doing research, and gathering images for their documentaries so far, and, if everything goes to plan, I’ll have 12 documentaries on the Gilded Age by February 2,” said Dr. Scott King-Owen, BHS Social Studies Teacher.

Individualized devices allow students to learn at their own pace in the classroom.

From social studies to science, math, English and world languages, Bexley High School students are using their devices to take digital notes, access interactive websites and online course materials, conduct research, complete labs, record data and even take quizzes and tests in class and at home.

It’s not too late to join other alumni who have already made commitments to the “One for All” technology campaign. The campaign committee is seeking 50 more gifts of $5,000 (payable in $1,000 annual installments over five years) by June 30, 2021.  A $5,000 gift commitment will ensure that your name/family name will be recognized on the special donor recognition pieces that will be installed at each Bexley school. To learn more about how the “One for All” technology campaign is powering up education in Bexley, please contact BEF Executive Director, or call (614) 338-2093.