Technology in schools is the norm now, but it was an abstract concept 10 years ago.
That's how long ago Roanoke County Schools began giving high school freshmen laptops.
A lot has changed in 10 years.
“I don't remember the last time I used a textbook in my classes, honestly,” student Rachel Rosenfeld said.
If you heard that a few decades ago, you'd think Rachel Rosenfeld was a bad student.
But she's a Hidden Valley High School Senior who got early admission to the College of William and Mary.
“I just think we're really fortunate to have laptops at our school because I know a lot of kids who they're schools don't have the capabilities so I feel really fortunate to have a laptop,” Rosenfeld said.
Roanoke County's Laptop Initiative has come a long way since its inception in 2003.
Generally, students were up on the technology, and teachers like Chuck Parker had to catch up.
“When I first came here I was very reluctant to use some of the technology that we had,” Social Studies teacher Chuck Parker said.
As the decade passed, Parker and other teachers caught on.
“Now, pretty much 90 percent of the things that I do are going to be revolved around the laptop,” Parker said. “That is the number one thing students need to have in my class, above a paper and pencil.”
The growing pains for students include improper internet use, playing games, and breaking their computers.
Generally, Roanoke County Schools Superintendent Lorraine Lange says, the laptop initiative has been worth it.
“Right now there are so many school systems trying to get different types of computers or handhelds in the schools, and we've been there for 10 years,” Lange said.
The whole initiative has come a long way. Students and teachers alike think it's made Roanoke County Schools that much better.
“We tell our students to take advantage of every opportunity they have academically,” Lange said. “We need to do the same technologically in order to better our classrooms and better our students.”
Roanoke County’s laptop program costs $1.2 million per year.