Juniors at Henryetta high school are packing some new technology.
The first shipment of Chromebooks were handed out to the junior class Thursday morning marking, "the first start toward our STEM program," according to superintendent Dwayne Noble.
 Chromebooks are laptops that will enable the students to do their homework and submit it online.
Eventually the laptops will be taking the place of textbooks at a projected savings of several thousands of dollars Noble pointed out. Students will be able to download their textbooks from, "the cloud," or servers accessed by the Internet.
Because the Chromebooks will be able to connect to the Internet anywhere wireless access is available, students can do their homework in settings other than the classrooms.
In addition, teachers will be able to help students and even hold video conferences with one or more students from another location.
"That would have been handy when we need to reach students but are out of school like we were earlier this week because of the flu."
See the Chromebooks
explained to Henryetta
school board members here
The Chromebooks were purchased this year using some textbook money the school had on hand. In the future, more of the electronic devices will be purchased and made available to other grade levels. "We wanted to start with these students so they can use them for the next two years," Noble said.
The thin, lightweight computers cost under $200 each but over time, that will be a savings when compared to the recurring price of updating textbooks.
"At the first of the year, I saw several students carrying armloads of books that were worn and old looking," the superintendent said. "I thought they were going to throw them out but I found out they were being taken to another class because they had to be shared with other students."
He said teachers are currently using glue, staples and tape to hold some of the books together.
The median price for text books is $80 per book and Nobel pointed out the Chromebooks will enable the downloadable text to be upgraded more frequently without buying new books. The school budget is around $56,000 for new textbooks each year.
"These kids are excited about them (Chromebooks) and will be showing the other kids in the school. These will be a great teaching tool. Instead of a student looking at a map of the world in a book, they will be looking at an interactive map on their Chromebook."
Before the students were able to take the Chromebook, they had to have their parents sign a contract agreeing they would be liable for the device.
"That's no different than a textbook now. If a student loses or destroys a textbook, they have to replace it," Noble said.
Addition of the Chromebooks is part of Noble's plans to upgrade and improve the learning process at the school.
This spring, voters will be looking at a $9 million bond issue that will include construction of two new buildings, upgrading the science, math and computers and making necessary building repairs.