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Does 1:1 Learning really help students?

As more and more schools in Massachusetts and around the country implement one-to-one learning initiatives, the results are showing these programs to be the future of education and that they are effective in many ways:

  • Allow students to develop the 21st century skills imperative for success both in college and in the workforce. These include hard skills such as word processing, research, presentations, creativity, critical thinking, media literacy, online safety and etiquette and connectivity to the global society.
  • 24/7 access extends the student learning environment outside of the traditional school day allowing for “anytime, anywhere” continued collaboration and interactions.
    Increases parity by giving every student access to global information and educational software through technology, thus eliminating the “digital divide” and helping reduce the achievement gap.
  • Greatly increases student motivation, engagement and personal responsibility.
  • Enhances home to school communications.
  • Empowers students with learning.

We already have Chromebook carts and computer labs, why do we need one-to-one?

Chromebook carts are limited and booked weeks in advance. This limited access forces teachers to plan far ahead in order to use Chromebooks in their classrooms. Carts add another problem because 10 -15 minutes of instructional time can be wasted getting the cart from its previous teacher, distributing and logging into the Chromebooks and putting them away when class is over. With 1:1 devices, access is when it is needed, not when we have scheduled it.  There will still be some computer labs at Wahconah for specific courses that require special software or more computing power, but we will no longer have Chromebook carts.

If every student gets a Chromebook, won’t they just be staring at the screen the entire class and not paying attention to the teacher?

Just because every student has a Chromebook doesn’t mean they will be used in every class every single day or even for an entire class. They can be used for a quick 15-minute activity, then put away; or for longer projects, research collaboration, content creation, etc. Even though each teacher has discretion over the ways in which they will implement Chromebooks, there is a core set of outcomes connected to the Chromebook initiative.

How will 1:1 help teachers and administrators?

1:1 programs provide for a much richer learning environment.  Computers provide teachers much more flexibility in how they teach, providing opportunities for more personalized and differentiated instruction, flipped lessons, collaborative projects, and blended courses to name a few.

Student Chromebooks allow teachers to take advantage of the Google Classroom which will empower teachers with a host of useful applications and tools:

  • Online tests and quizzes which are graded automatically and provide students with instant feedback.   
  • Homework and class notes distributed online- no paper
  • Homework turned in, graded and returned to students online- no paper
  • Synchronous online study groups and/or one-to-one student help sessions
  • Increased home to school communication
  • Student ePortfolios

1:1 increases instruction time by reducing the time associated using computer labs or Chromebook carts. It also ends the logistic issues and removes the problem of trying to schedule learning around the availability of technology.

Why Chromebooks?

CBRSD is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) district. This allows teachers and students to use Google’s cloud based services such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides from any device in school or at home. We have already been using Chromebooks simultaneously with great success. They integrate completely with GAFE, are user friendly, and are at a price point that would allow CBRSD to move to a 1:1 environment. The Chromebook needs very little maintenance as most resources are accessed directly from the internet and updates are quick and automatic. Student work on the Chromebook automatically saves to the Google cloud and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. 

What training and/or support with my student receive?

CBRSD has been using Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education for several years, so Wahconah students are already familiar with the technology.  However, building administration and teachers will work with students as needed.

What happens if it gets dropped, spilled on, stolen or broken?

Repairs will be estimated on a case-by-case basis at current replacement costs. Accidental damage may be covered by the District. The student, parent, or guardian may be responsible for necessary repairs due to negligence.

If the Chromebook is in need of repair, what is the process?

Students will bring the Chromebook that is in need of repair to room G3. A help ticket will be generated and students will be notified when the Chromebook has either been repaired or replaced. Students will be able to check out a loaner Chromebook on a daily basis. 

Who is responsible for updating the device (software and applications)?

The Chromebook operating system, Chrome OS, updates itself automatically. Students do not need to manually update their Chromebooks. Students are allowed to install appropriate Chrome web apps and extensions from the Chrome Web Store and these also update automatically. 

Will my student be supplied with any Chromebook accessories?

Students will be provided with a charging cord and a protective Chromebook sleeve.

Can students print?

Students will submit most assignments electronically, which will minimize the need to print.  However, there will be Cloud printing for student use in designated locations in the school.  Students can also print at home with the correct connectivity. 

Are there any restriction on networks that students will connect to?

Chromebooks will automatically connect to the “CBRSD” wireless network when in any district building.  Students should use this network at school.  Students may also connect to their home wireless network or to public wireless networks.

Can students personalize their devices?

Students will be given Chromebook sleeves for their devices, however students can use their own protective covers, skins* and cases for the Chromebooks. However, students will not be able to add stickers or other permanent items to their devices. 

*A device skin is a removable adhesive cover that can be attached to the cover of a Chromebook.  

What if I cannot pick up my Chromebook at the designated times?

We will post on the CBRSD website a time and place for Chromebook pickup for parents who cannot make the designated dates. 

On pickup day, do parents/guardians need to be there?

Yes. Parents/guardians of students will need to be present when the Chromebooks are distributed. We encourage students to attend as well. We will require parent/guardian identification before Chromebook will be distributed. 

How will Chromebooks be distributed?

The Chromebook distribution will take place at various dates that will be announced by Wahconah.  

Who owns the device?

CBRSD owns the devices. The district loans the devices to students as an instructional tool for learning. 

How will our network support these devices?

The district continually invests in the wireless network infrastructure and internet bandwidth. Adequate wireless capacity and bandwidth are available for this Chromebook initiative. 

Can students take the Chromebooks home?

One of the goals of this initiative is to provide students with the ability to use the Chromebooks at school and at home.  When they are used at home they will automatically be connected back to the CBRSD web filters to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Students will be required to return the Chromebook at the end of their senior year or if they unenroll from CBRSD.

How is classroom usage monitored for safety?

All Chromebooks will go through the district's internet filters that only allow CIPA authorized websites to be visited.  

What if a student forgets their Chromebook?

There will be a limited number of spare Chromebooks available for daily checkout in room G3 for students who need devices.

What if a student forgets to charge their Chromebook at home?

Students are responsible for bringing their Chromebooks fully charged to school every day.  We will have limited charging sources available to students.

My child already has a laptop or Chromebook. Will they be able to bring their personal devices to school and use in their classes?

Students in grades 11 and 12 will be able to use their own personal devices and the CBRSD wireless network. They are responsible for the safety and security of their devices when at school.  Keep in mind that students will not be able to print from personal devices and if they choose to use a personal device it should have adequate battery capacity to last for a full school day.