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New computer labs allow increased student access

Photo by STEPHANIE TANG 

by CRYSTAL HUANG  

New computers have been added in the library to help students with test prep, testing, classroom activities and individual school work.

The new lab includes 47 computers with headphones, tables and chairs, and an additional 43 computers are in Room C-104.

The former library computers were purchased six years ago, while Francisco Arregui, now principal, was project director. Within a year, six of the computers did not work. Because several were since damaged and all were not up-to-date, Arregui spoke to district office personnel about getting new computers.

One of the benefits of the new computer lab is that students are now able to go online and link their PSAT scores to College Board, so they can then better understand and improve their future scores.

Students can make an account on collegeboard.org where they can automatically be linked to their PSAT scores, using their own access ID. After the score has been linked, students can receive more information about their scores and have increased resources available. For example, a student can look at a question answered incorrectly and find the difficulty level of that specific question.

Students can also sign up for Khan Academy, using either their email or Facebook account. After signing up, Khan Academy generates similar practice questions to all those the students answered incorrectly. If students are still having trouble answering a question, they can click on a tutorial video, where step-by-step instructions are shown on how to correctly answer that question type.

“So far, the new computer lab has been very positive. I hope more teachers will bring down their students, especially the students who do not have computers at home,” said Denise Quan, academic specialist.

When students individually use a computer, they are required to sign in with their school ID, class period and time. Students are also required to sign out when leaving.

Another purpose of the new computers is to help juniors familiarize themselves with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which they will take in May.

“With how fast technology is changing, we looked at our needs and made sure we would have bigger desktops instead of smaller laptops, so it would be easier for students to use,” said Arregui. “It is for students to use before, after and during school.”
Plans are also being made to convert Room C-100 into another computer lab, where additional computers would bring the total to 130 available for students to use.

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