More students applying for laptops; GDOE working on internet connection

GDOE will be getting a new shipment of laptops for distribution to students.

Currently, the Guam Department of Education has over 3,800 secondary students who applied for laptops and GDOE is encouraging those who are still under the hard-copy model to switch over to online learning.

In GDOE’s continuous efforts to encourage laptop applications, Superintendent Jon Fernandez noticed lately a great number of primary school families interested in being part of the laptop distributions and obtaining the remaining laptops.

“Right now, we’ve said no but we are accepting their applications because we are anticipating within the next month, we will be getting a new shipment of laptops and begin distributing to the elementary students,” Fernandez said.

He added: “When we get the new shipment in, we can tag them and get them ready for distribution to the elementary school students and that’ll be a better way for us to keep track of all the equipment.”

As for internet connection, documents are still being finalized for Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s approval and securement of funding. However, given the critical time frame of the school year, Fernandez hopes to get the word out as soon as possible because GDOE will not be able to move forward with solicitations until official confirmation.

“We have to get this out to start to engage potential vendors and have them let us know what they could do for us. But we’re hoping to have that internet access in place by January so that way we could at least cover the second semester and be ready to support our kids during that period of time,” Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, Fernandez says while GDOE elementary school parents want to make the switch to online learning, at this point in time a number of teachers and administrators still seem to favor keeping the hard copy model of learning, at least until GDOE goes through with the laptop distribution and internet access efforts.

Once that is established, GDOE will revisit the discussion of whether or not to continue with the hard copy model.