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Fresno Unified expands computer curriculum for 2nd graders to seniors

More than 600 teachers volunteer to teach with tablets

On the first day for Fresno Unified Monday, more students ditched their papers and pencils and logged into their computers.

The district is boosting technology from seniors to second graders.

The mission is to expose more kids to computers in math and English.

So the key is getting teachers on board. 220 teachers volunteered when the program started three years ago and now it's up to 650.

It may be the first day of school for fifth graders at Easterby elementary but they know the drill.

Their index fingers lead the way on their tablets as they get moving on their math assignment in Rob Kuzminski's class.

"I can accomplish a lot more than I could in the past. Everything is right here on the computer. I don't have to spend time passing out materials

or looking for things. Students can access everything they need on the computer."

A few years ago Fresno Unified received one time funding of 4-million dollars to buy tablets. That spawned the Personalized Learning Initiative

in Fresno Unifed to boost technology district wide. "Students pick it up much faster I believe than they would with pencil and paper. The P.L.I.

program in having tablets in every room really makes things go a lot quicker."

220 teachers volunteered to get the program started three years ago. The second year the number of teachers grew to 385.

Vice Principal of curriculum and instruction Ryan Coe says this year 650 teachers are teaching with tablets as their main education tool.

"When they experience it from the seat of a learner they start to see all the options and all the possibilities that technology can open.

Students like Aaliyah Seuyaphanh say they have no fear. "When we do math and stuff we don't have to write the stuff down and we can use it on

the computer." The district has no plans to eliminate paper and pencils but technology is the future. "Our students are adaptable and they will work

with what's in front of them and they will do amazing things." Students can't take the computers home but they can do their homework without a tablet.

Teachers say they can access everything online.


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