Mobile Computing

New York District Goes 1:1 with Chromebooks

Batavia City School District in New York will provide every student in the high school with a Chromebook beginning in fall 2016. Middle school students will get Chromebooks in the winter, and elementary school students will receive touchscreen devices in the following school year.

The district has conducted pilot programs at every grade level, according to a report in the Daily News. The district also surveyed parents, students and staff, and all three groups rated technology as "important" or "very important" to education.

In preparation for the rollout, the district will upgrade the Internet connectivity in each building and purchase interactive whiteboards for classrooms. The Chromebooks will connect to the whiteboards for collaborative work. The district will also invest in professional development for teachers to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to use the devices effectively in the classroom.

Each Chromebook will be assigned to an individual student for use at school and at home, and students will be responsible for bringing their device with them every day, fully charged. The district will even encourage students to personalize their devices with stickers or other accessories, Jeff McKinney, assistant principal of Batavia High School told the Daily News. By feeling a sense of ownership of their Chromebook, the thinking goes, students will exercise more responsibility in their use and care of the devices. However, students will not have full control of the devices, which will be subject to content filtering.

Funding for the Chromebooks will come out of "existing technology allotments in the school's general budget," stated a report in the Daily News, and the district expects to replace them every two to three years. The district also plans to purchase covers to protect the devices and is still investigating insurance options.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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