Victoria students get gift of laptops

Victoria Elementary School was able recently to buy 30 HP Chromebooks for students to use in class using a $12,000 grant from the Argyros Family Foundation.

Before the purchase, the approximately 400 students at the school used one computer lab that has 36 computers.

Fifth- and sixth-grade combo teachers Brandi McNamara and Amy Meunier are the first at Victoria to teach with the new devices. Both their classes have been using the Chromebooks for six weeks.

“This is a generation that’s well-tuned to technology,” Principal Aaron Peralta said. “Our school is continuing to research the best ways to infuse technology with our students learning.”

In McNamara’s class, the students’ most recent project was to create virtual stores using their devices.

As part of a math lesson, students used the Chromebooks to access each other’s stores, find items to buy and apply percentage discounts to prices.

Foundation President Julia Argyros said she learned about the need at Victoria from a friend whose grandson attends the Costa Mesa school.

“Any time we have the chance to give to education, we should do it,” Argyros said. “The way students learn is constantly changing and they should have the resources they need to learn.”

Along with the purchase of laptops, the grant allowed the two teachers to attend training provided by Newport-Mesa Unified Schools District’s Educational Technology Services on how to use and make lesson plans with the Chromebooks.

Peralta said the goal is to eventually have school-issued Chromebooks for students in grades second through sixth and iPads for all Victoria teachers.