Arkansas Technology

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The Little Rock School District will be allowing high school students to carry their cell phones with them during the school day as part of a pilot policy.

In the past, students who brought their phones on campus were required to leave them in their lockers during the day. But the district announced Thursday that effective immediately, that’s changing.

Many Arkansas cities are taking advantage of advances in technology to improve how they operate. On Tuesday, community leaders from around the state met in Little Rock to discuss what’s possible during a Smart Cities seminar.

The city of Mulberry, near Fort Smith, is an early adopter of such technologies. Mayor Gary Baxter says they recently bought smart water meters, which are more accurate than traditional water meters and send usage data through a wireless network.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

The state’s task force on computer science education met in Little Rock Wednesday to work on making recommendations for Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

Task force member Tom Chilton of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission said a new law requires the task force to plan for teacher training and to reassess how students are taught computer science subject matter at earlier grades.

Arkansas Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Dr. Mark Gotcher and State Rep. Charlotte Douglass (R-Alma).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Schools in Fort Smith will be among the first to benefit from Arkansas’s two-year plan to improve broadband internet access. Education officials told a joint meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees on Monday that the Fort Smith School District, as of Wednesday, will be able to provide a 200 kilobit minimum for each student.

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a motion by Chairwoman Mary Goode to request a $6.8 million advance from the City of Little Rock to fund the purchase of prime downtown real estate from Stephens Inc. in the fast-growing Creative Corridor on Main Street.

Office of the Governor

 The following is a transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson's Radio Column for the weekend of May 22, 2015:

Sometimes being governor is a bit like being a farmer. Especially when it comes to economic development. You plant seeds — water them, nourish them, tend to them — and hope the effort pays off at harvest time.

Last week, we planted seeds from Arkansas all the way to California.

Governor Hutchinson Facebook
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

You haven’t seen much out of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s public schedule the last two days. That’s because the new Arkansas governor has been on the West Coast for a little R & R. Not “rest and relaxation,” but for a few “rendezvous and recruitment.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signing a workforce development bill.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will travel to high schools across the state to encourage students to enroll in computer science courses. Hutchinson's office announced Tuesday that the governor will travel to at least 10 high schools this month and that more locations will be announced later.

Each of the selected schools has been asked to perform an hour of coding with the student body before the visit.

The Republican vowed to expand the offerings during his campaign last year and says it will make Arkansas more competitive and improve the workforce.

With the Arkansas Manufacturing Innovation Summit only days away, a quarterly industry report by PriceWaterHouse (PWC) showed that manufacturing executives are optimistic about the future despite recent challenges that have maligned the sector once viewed as the pillar of the U.S. economy.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Gov
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The city of Caraway could one day become a “computer mecca,” with students learning the skills of computer coding and computer science, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday.

Hutchinson, who attended the groundbreaking of Riverside East Elementary School, spoke to the nearly 300 people in attendance about education and the opportunity it gives.

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