Technology at Terra Linda


Silvia Alfonso

Terra Linda students logging in to computers in the Library Lab.

Silvia Alfonso and Silvia Alfonso

The year is 2015 and as the world knows, technology is advancing rapidly. But is education keeping up? And how does TL compare other schools in the area that are embracing the use of tech in the classroom? Locally, for example, Marin Catholic High School has a set of student iPads, AppleTV, along with other technological advancements. Terra Linda, though slowly advancing, would benefit if technology was more prominently featured in the curriculum.

Terra Linda is gradually becoming more technologically advanced, as seen in the many sets of Chrome Books that became available to students last year. History teacher Mark Lubamersky says that an ideal next step for TL would be transitioning from textbooks to having everything on tablets, contingent on the school’s budget of course. If he could, he would give all students a tablet starting freshman year that they would keep for all four years of high school.  The tablets would contain all the student’s textbooks so they  wouldn’t have to carry so many books. Students would have everything in one location, and it wouldn’t be such a hassle in regard to losing things. Tablets would also allow teachers to save handouts and assignments electronically with the guarantee that all students could access them. This would indeed minimize the loss of important documents and photocopying costs.

However, technology like tablets and phones in the classroom can go two ways. There will be some that will focus on their work, but others that will take advantage and just mess around.  In the words of Lubamersky, “That’s their problem. At this point in high school, it will show the kids that care and don’t care about school.”

Terra Linda, although a school in Marin County, one of the richest counties in the United States, has struggled with the cost of integrating better technology for the school. High schools like Redwood, Tamalpais, and Marin Catholic have bigger budgets, and therefore more updated tech. For example, Redwood’s technology ranges from iPads, laptops, 3D printers, document reading cameras, and new solar panels. Tam offers similar devices as well. Tamalpais High Freshman Dolan Clahan says that with their iPads, “It’s easier to turn things in and it’s easier to share things.”

TL Junior Tim Bartolf states, “Personal devices would allow the school to save huge amounts of money because they would not have to purchase physical copies of books, like the AP books [which] are hugely expensive.” Technology would allow students to have everything on one single device and they would not lose papers or any other work easily. The problem of having to lug around heavy books would cease to exist, and students would be able to learn and practice important 21st century skills.