Burbank school board OKs technology spending

The Burbank school board approved $5 million worth of technological spending during its meeting Thursday.

The board also approved creating a new job description — Coordinator of Instructional Technology — who will, in part, help train teachers on how to best use tablet computers in the classroom. District officials plan to put the devices in all students’ hands, from kindergarten to 12th grade, in coming years.

“We have all of these devices but we don’t want them to sit there. We want them to be used. We want teachers to feel comfortable with what is placed in their classroom and we have a lot of stuff coming in,” said Sharon Cuseo, director of instruction and accountability for Burbank Unified.

The position was overwhelmingly supported by board members, including board President Roberta Reynolds.

“I think this [position] is absolutely necessary and certainly warranted with the kind of work we have to do now,” she said.

The $5-million expenditure in Measure S bond funds, approved in a separate vote, will go toward document cameras, projectors and voice-amplification systems for every classroom.

The document cameras allow educators to display three-dimensional objects or images from digital devices to students, while the voice-amplification systems will better enable teachers to make their voices audible.

The district also plans to purchase Smart Boards — interactive devices that relay images and video — at every school site.

The recent approvals come on the heels of last month’s decision to spend $1.5 million to build a new data center that was considered by school officials as the initial step in advancing its technology use.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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