Students explore literature, academic networking via new Nexus 10 tablets

by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - Scappoose High School Students (from left) Nathaniel Nguien, Megan Hadden and Owen Parsons use the schools new Nexus 10 tablets to study Shakespeares Hamlet through a psycho-analytical lens.The Scappoose Parents Association recently purchased 25 Nexus 10 tablets for Scappoose High School’s English department.

The tablets will be used in place of laptop computers and save students trips to the library when they need to research a particular subject.

Students on Wednesday, April 30, got their first crack at the devices, using them to analyze Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” through various literary lenses.

“You don’t have to go to the library and waste class time,” said Scappoose High student Lexi Broughton, testing out one of the tablets for the first time. “You can also work better with your group.”

Kaitlin Smith, another Scappoose High student, said the devices allow students to better communicate with one another about assignments.

“We can all sit here and just share documents on Google Docs,” she said.

The tablets will allow teachers to monitor students’ progress with current projects online, said Scappoose High English teacher Andy Kane, who added the tablets are also a benefit as they cut down on paper use and have no moving parts.

Kane said laptops had been a convenient way to bring technology into the classroom every so often, but their components would sometimes break or fail. Kane said he didn’t foresee problems of that nature with the tablets.

Kane was confident his students would adapt well to the technology, noting he often has students turn in multiple-page essays written on their cell phones.

The tablets cost the Scappoose Parents Association a total of $10,000. The group also provided $1,000 to Scappoose High’s student group, Future Business Leaders of America, to build smart boards for Scappoose Middle School. Earlier in the year, the association gave $3,000 to the Scappoose High’s architecture department for the purchase of new drafting software.

“We want to try to put as much technology in the school as we can,” said Candy Cole, Scappoose Parents Association founder and vice president.

The association generated funds for the recent technology upgrades through grants from the Autzen Foundation, Portland General Electric, donations from Figaro’s Pizza, and fundraising events such as the school’s June Cruise-In, November Holiday Bazaar and a booth at the Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival.

Cole said the association is always looking for new members. The organization, she said, is dedicated to raising supplemental educational funds for the communities of Sauvie Island, Scappoose and Warren. The organization holds one-hour meetings the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Scappoose Public Library.

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