More than 60 parents recently got to try out new computers their children soon will be using.
New Albany-Plain Local officials hosted a Dec. 4 interactive presentation on technology for parents.
Keith Pomeroy, the district's technology director, said the district is replacing desktop computers with laptops and tablets.
Instead of sending students to a computer laboratory, teachers now request the type of machines needed for instruction and distribute them in regular classrooms.
"We're trying to make sure the transition (into using new equipment) matches what the students are using and experiencing outside of class," Pomeroy said.
"Many of the younger students will try to touch the screen if you put a computer in front of them."
At the beginning of the school year, all students in kindergarten to eighth grade were introduced to the new machines.
Pomeroy invited parents to do the same Dec. 4 in the New Albany Middle School gymnasium.
Pomeroy said students already are using the portable tablets in the school's wetlands nature preserve, using a magnifying application to study animals and plants.
District officials also have encouraged students to bring in their own devices, which high school students say is beneficial.
Junior Spencer Lehman said he uses a laptop to take class notes. Senior Will Priest said it is quicker for students to check a fact or find the answer to a question using a Google application on one of their own devices.
Lehman and Priest are both digital networking assistants who work on computer equipment in the summer and during the school year.
Don and Carol Waytes have two children who are new to the district this year. They said they attended the session to learn more about how technology is used and what types of devices their children need.
"This is a nice offering for the school to engage parents and put something such as this on," Don Waytes said. "I'm impressed with the way they have introduced technology into the classroom, as well."
Carol Waytes said teachers went out of their way to help one of her children who was having trouble accessing homework assignments through a computer application.
"They sought him out and walked him through the process," she said.
Pomeroy said many parents asked what types of devices their children could use in school when planning on gifts for the holidays.
He said the district is partnering with Best Buy and the Apple Store at Easton to provide shopping nights.