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      Technology helps prepare Clark County students for an ever changing future

      Technology is changing the face of education in cities across the nation.

      But you may be surprised to find out that even here in the Tri-States, technology is putting our kids on a even playing field with their peers in other parts of the country.

      And that's especially true in Clark County Missouri.

      The encyclopedias in the library of the Clark County Missouri High School are symbolic of where education was 7 years ago in the district.

      At that time Superintendent Ritchie Kracht took over the reins of the district. He saw the way education was changing and the need to make technology a vital part of the learning process.

      Kracht says in the first year over 100 thousand dollars was spent getting more computers in the district. Since then over 60 thousand dollars is budgeted per year for technology in Clark County.

      He says, "We needed to get technology into these kids. And then 7 years ago when I took over as superintendent, and when that happened we put a big emphasis on trying to get technology into the buildings, in the classrooms, where students can used the. And also where teachers can also used them to utilize different resources."

      What you will see in the classrooms of this school is quite amazing for those who remember school before computers.

      Take for instance the tech lab.

      Here students use computers to try out a number of different professions to see which one they might be interested in pursuing in the future.

      Or another device in which the students enter their answers to a question in class.

      All they have to do is select their answer and then their names are highlighted on a class listing.

      It also shows which answer the majority of the students chose.

      Principal Jason Harper is happy with the way the kids and teachers have adapted to the new technology.

      Harper says, "We can get immediate feedback as they can go ahead and put the answers in. The answers come up on the board . They are able to get that feedback immediately and see what their learning and not learning and that is so important."

      And no need for for a substitute to struggle to teach an unfamiliar subject. Teachers can now record their lesson that the substitute can play for the students.

      Superintendent Kracht says, "We're going to more problem solving and critical thinking. So were putting tools in their hands and letting them create things, letting them solve problems rather than sitting down with a book and just memorizing and reciting the information back on a test."

      Technology like this is closing the gap between rural and city and turning the students of Clark County into valuable assets to the college or career of their choice in the future.

      The High School is not the only place in the district to benefit from the new technology.

      The middle school recently received an E-mints grant that put laptops and hand held computers in the hands of teachers and students.