School closings: Several districts closed Wednesday

Shawnee Mission School District upgrades network as part of Digital Learning Initiative

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Logging onto the internet will be much faster this school year in the Shawnee Mission School District with the district's new, high-speed, fiber optic network.

The district says the new network is 137 times faster than the old network, and the upgrade means faster not only for students but also for the staff.

According to the superintendent, faster speed and capacity will allow innovative learning opportunities such as virtual field trips. The upgraded network also offers teachers an additional tool for students who might get more out of digital learning.

“It's definitely a lot easier to do your research and everything,” freshman Catie Wood said. “Like I'm really happy we have them, and we don't have to look up in books. I mean if we need to know a definition of a word we can just type it in real quick instead of looking it up in a dictionary.”

30,000 devices are used right now by students across the district.

The district along with Unite Private Networks will make the Digital Learning Initiative official Thursday with an announcement at 9 a.m.