Richmond County Schools Pilots Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education

Richmond County Schools in North Carolina is piloting Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education in three of its classrooms.

Tony Tuso, the chief technology officer for the district, has followed similar initiatives in other North Carolina districts and around the world, and he thinks it could be a good fit for Richmond County. "This is where the world is right now, and it's certainly where we want our school district to go," he said in a news release.

According to information on the district's site, it selected the Lenovo Thinkpad Chromebook 11e for the pilot project. The device features an Intel Celeron processor, 11.6-inch high-definition, anti-glare display and interior and exterior reinforcement for school-wide deployments and portability. The district's site lists numerous benefits to the Chromebook for education, including short start-up time, leaving more time for instruction, increased opportunities for collaboration, safety and security features, extended battery life, low cost and cloud-based storage.

Austin Good, an English language arts teacher at Rohanen Middle School is piloting 25 Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education in his classroom. He has been asking his students to complete four to five practice assignments on their Chromebooks each week. After each assignment, Good provides the students with additional support around any questions they got wrong. At the end of the week, he gives them a quiz, and students have to get at least 80 percent correct before they can move on to the next lesson.

"I get a lot more feedback throughout the week as to the work they're doing," said Good in a prepared statement. "It's graded right there, so I can see what they're struggling with and adapt my teaching to it."

The district launched its pilot program last year. Currently the students are not allowed to take the devices home and can use them only during their pilot program class. Based on the success of the pilot project, the district hopes to implement a full 1-to-1 initiative, beginning with Richmond Senior High School.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].