The Colo-Nesco board of education approved technology purchases for the district’s elementary school at Zearing on Monday. The board approved to spend $6,221 on Apple-brand devices for elementary students and teachers. This way, teachers and students will not have to transport iPads and laptops between Colo and Zearing.


“This will allow Zearing to have a 1:1 ratio [of devices for students],” said Director of Technology Joe Wakeman.


Wakeman added that the board will likely want to consider upgrading the wireless Internet at the Zearing site, as it has been five years since this was done. Wakeman pointed out that when the current ‘WiFi’ was designed, it was thought there would be one device in each classroom, as opposed to the roughly 20 that will sometimes be used at once. These purchases will replace devices that are five to eight years old.


Wakeman also informed the board that beginning this year, bus drivers will log their trips using a mobile device instead of updating paperwork. In addition to no longer having to carry a notebook to keep records for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), this will make it easier for drivers and the administration to monitor supplies, such as washer fluid and oil. This should also save workers in administration a significant amount of time spent filling out paperwork.


In other news, the board approved a contract with Coca-Cola for use in the district’s vending machines. The deal runs for five years, at a cost of $2,500 per year.


The final board meeting before the school year begins will be held Aug. 21 in Colo.