Grand Island School district expects technical devices will be in high demand as more students learn remotely

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GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – A local school district is noticing that devices, such as Chromebooks are in high demand, as people continue working from home and students prepare for distance learning.

Grand Island Central School District Superintendent Brian Graham says each student in the district grades 2nd through 12th will have access to a device to learn remotely. He says the district planned accordingly for that, but says any extra Chromebooks they ordered might not be in on time.

“Those devices are in high demand so they may be delayed for the start of school,” Graham said.

Since the district is leaning towards a hybrid model of learning, Graham says students will need access to devices such as Chromebooks.

“Through those devices, our children will be working with our teachers through google classroom,” he said.

He says since March, the school district has been planning to make sure each student has what they need to learn from home.

“This summer we’re purchasing Chromebooks and making sure that every child has access,” Graham said. “There’s a big demand right now for those devices, luckily we’re only looking at a small number perhaps 200 to 400, because we were already prepared.”

Local tech expert Ron Odde says he’s not surprised Chromebooks are a hot item.

“I can understand why they would go with Chromebooks because that is certainly the least expensive option,” Odde said.

Odde owns Your PC Medic in Buffalo. Each week, close to two dozen people, many who work from home, reach out needing computer or technical help. With many school districts in the area pushing for a hybrid model of learning, Odde says that could mean parents who aren’t used to the technology will have to become more computer savvy by next month.

“Regardless of what technology is being used there are definitely going to be some people that will need some assistance in learning how to use

the technology, learning how to access the various resources that the school system might be asking them to access online,” he said. “So certainly that is anticipated.”

His advice for parents..

“Just be patient,” Odde said. “Don’t assume that something catastrophic happening just because it’s not working at the moment.”

uBreakiFix is another business in Western New York that tells News 4 they’ve been busy lately as well. The owner says each of its seven locations between Buffalo and Rochester have been booked up with people needing computer repairs or technical support.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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