As technology for Northwoods students increases, many still lack high-speed internet at homeSubmitted: 03/03/2015
TOMAHAWK - Many Northwoods school districts face a tricky dilemma.

They want to give students digital resources like laptops to use at school and take home.

But internet access in rural northern Wisconsin can be spotty or unavailable.

The School District of Tomahawk found 86 percent of its students have internet access at home.

But in a survey, only 73 percent of students living outside the City of Tomahawk said they had high speed access.

"There are still many students who either a) can't access the internet or b) can't afford the internet," said Tomahawk Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Nathan Hanson. "We've always got to find ways to overcome that and make accommodations for those kids."

For the first time this year, the district lent Chromebooks to students in Grades 7 and above.

They keep them for the entire year and take them home.

The Chromebooks are set up to access many class resources without connecting to the internet.

But that feature still doesn't provide everything students could need.

"We've got obstacles. We live in trees and lakes," Hanson said. "That internet access is harder to get to, but we're still able to overcome some of that."

Tomahawk is far from the only Northwoods district considering a similar dilemma.

"A rural school district faces a different challenge with this," Hanson said. "But it's a challenge we have to overcome. We have to do it. Any school district that neglects this internet world that we live in is going to be doing a disservice to its kids."

Tomahawk could soon consider giving devices to students as young as elementary school.

The district plans to work with Northwoods broadband groups to keep increasing service in the area.

Story By: Ben Meyer

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story


RHINELANDER - Some students find themselves sitting in a classroom, wondering how they would use what they're learning in real life. A group of community members in Rhinelander hope to make the connection between what students are learning in the classroom and adult life. On Tuesday, they gave students a crash course in being an adult.

Rhinelander High School seniors traded in their books for a game of life on Tuesday.

"Life can give you a lot of stuff very quickly. I managed to hit both a deer, rear-end a car, and hit snow bank in the same two-week period," said Rhinelander High School senior Dustin Simon, discussing a financial simulation in which he participated.

+ Read More

TOMAHAWK - If you like to sit in the sauna from time to time, you may want to do it more often.

A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association reports a link between frequent sauna use and lower risk of cardiac-related death.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Minocqua Winter Park may see some changes. The town of Minocqua will likely order a study of the park that could lead to upgrades and even expansion.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - An ambulance trip in Oneida County could soon cost more. Both the county and the city of Rhinelander want to charge more for ambulance services.

Emergency leaders want to raise prices so they can maintain their service quality. The costs of the items first responders need, like medical supplies and gas, keep going up.

Both Oneida County and the city of Rhinelander charge less than the state average for most ambulance services. The emergency management department wants to charge a number closer to that average.

+ Read More
+ More Local News


MADISON - The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to start debate of the right-to-work bill at 9 a.m. Thursday and end no later than 9 a.m. Friday.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he will sign into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin's schools superintendent is warning the Legislature's budget committee that Gov. Scott Walker's K-12 education budget plan continues an unsustainable downward trend in funding.

+ Read More

MADISON - Some people want to get rid of Wisconsin's waiting period for buying handguns.

Governor Scott Walker supports the idea, saying he would like to be a leader on the issue.

+ Read More
+ More Regional News

Click Here