“Change is happening at lightning speed, and if educators respond to it at a turtle’s pace, we run the risk of failing to prepare a generation of our future workforce for jobs that don’t exist today but will tomorrow, jobs that require citizens to be engaged, think critically, and act together.”
- Matt Levinson, From Fear to Facebook
Evaluation and Purchasing
Policy and Distribution
Curriculum and Integration
Why 1:1 Chromebooks?
The decision to move to 1:1 was a purposeful and thoughtful process for the Buhl School District (BSD). In preparation for this transition, BSD has provided our teachers with the technology necessary to become proficient at integrating technology into their content and pedagogy. This has opened new doors for teacher professional development, collaboration, and communication. The decision was made to initiate 1:1 at all three of our schools. This is a take-home program for grades 6-12, while students at the elementary leave their Chromebooks in the classroom.
In October 2015, we began the process of distributing over 1000 Chromebooks to students in grades 3-12. Prior to distribution, we invited all parents to an informational meeting. The distribution included an agreement for proper care of the device and an option to insure against unintentional damage. During the month of September, the technology staff inventoried devices and connected them to our Google domain. Our Google domain, buhlschools.org, was established in August 2005. Since that time, we have grown with the Google Apps for Education program, transitioning email, and productivity tools for staff and student use to these applications. Many teachers have embraced Google Classroom as a way to organize classroom assignments and interact with students’ learning.
The 2016-2017 school year is the second year of our 1:1 initiative. We will begin the year by re-distributing Chromebooks to all students in grades 6-12. In addition, we will continue the phased implementation plan to increase student access to technology in the K-2 elementary school grades. This initiative is a continuation of our strategic plan in accordance with district technology planning designed to improve teaching and learning and support curriculum and instruction for all students.
School districts throughout the country are considering a variety of devices as they transition to 1:1. Some are opting for tablets, others laptops, and still others Chromebooks. District leadership has researched school districts employing all three options and has opted for a Chromebook solution. Chromebooks are affordable, lightweight, fast, and simple to use. They operate on a Google Chrome Operating System (OS). This means that data is stored in the cloud using Google Drive. In addition, Chromebooks have a multi-user interface and distribution of applications through a management console. Chromebooks have a dedicated keyboard, long battery life, and low maintenance and support. Further, the OS is continually updated and ensures that there are never any viruses.
In support of 1:1 at BSD, a support center has been established within the district technology office. The high school is evaluating the use of a Student Technology Assistant program and will address this possibility during the school year. The Buhl School District will continue to provide regular updates on the 1:1 initiative. We look forward to sharing the achievements of our teachers and students as we transition to a 21st Century teaching and learning environment.