This was the first day of school for a lot of kids and a high tech welcome back for some. To kick off the new school year, students at
"We're certainly not throwing away pencils and books. This technology is a 21st century learning tool," says Donna Dedee, President and CEO of Bishop Kearney.
It's a tool that all 494 students will get this year at Bishop Kearney, Dell laptops for every student and their teachers.
"If the teachers aren't teaching the students how to use this in real life, then it's not going to be worth anything, says Mark Wazowicz.
Wazowicz is vice president of media and technology at Bishop Kearney. Over the past six months he's pulled together a project that normally takes years. He says Bishop Kearney has “an amazing amount of technology in each classroom, every classroom, for every teacher, for every student to use as a tool for helping the education process."
"The nicest thing is that with their laptops they can go and search and have that knowledge right at their fingertips," says Mary Slifer, an English teacher at Bishop Kearney.
She says the new technology marks a change in her own teaching habits.
"It really matters that I help them and guide them and they discover so it's a different way of teaching. It really helps build those 21st century skills that they need to really be successful."
For the freshmen who receive these laptops today, they will continue to work on them for the next four years, and if they excel in their classes, they'll receive them as a gift when they graduate. And when they graduate - school leaders say students will be more marketable to colleges.
"It will make them be more critical thinkers, it will equip our students as we enhance our core curriculum with 21st century skills," says Dedee.
The project was done with the help of the Golisano Education Program. It cost one million dollars.