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How a Utah School is Bridging the Digital Divide with New Technology for Students

South Jordan, UT (December 29, 2019) - Last month, The Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) partnered with Connected Nation to inventory all of the technology throughout Utah schools. This data helps schools assess what changes need to be made in the classroom involving technology.

As part of the inventory process, Wes Kerr, Connected Nation Director of Community Solutions, visited Paradigm High School in South Jordan, Utah. This is where he noticed the new Oculus headsets. These virtual reality headsets let users jump into a simulated reality.

Fernando Seminario, Director of Paradigm Schools, sat down with Kerr to discuss how this technology and the UETN inventory process has helped connect the students.

“Education is all about access—access to the past and future. I think technology is a tool that helps us have access to so many things in our world,” said Seminario. “Looking for ways to utilize technology in the school is giving us more opportunities for greater access.”

The success of many Paradigm students depends on access to certain technologies and the internet. Uw Stout Oculus Rift Beckdave Oculusclass2 Feature 300x207Teachers plan to use these Oculus devices to help enhance lessons and give students a perspective into something they have never used before. “This technology helps our students understand that particular content so much better,” said Seminario.

Paradigm has 80 Oculus Go headsets and 24 Oculus Rifts. These devices will be stored in the school computer lab and be available to students for use at any time. The Oculus headsets will not only give the students a new perspective but also teach them how to design and program this type of technology.

Without technology in schools, students have a better chance at falling behind. That’s why technology use and high-speed internet access is so important to schools.

“Technology has become more essential and makes you sort of a leader in the world after you graduate,” said Seninario. “It think it is worth exploring changing technologies; these types of tech are here to stay.”

About UETN:

UETN, in partnership with Connected Nation (CN), is overseeing the technology inventory. The first—completed in 2015—provided initial details on how technology is used in Utah classrooms and the access teachers and students have to digital materials, devices, and platforms.

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