More staff Chromebooks coming on January inservice day

posted Dec 2, 2017, 6:13 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Dec 3, 2017, 3:57 AM ]
On the January 15, 2018 inservice day additional staff Chromebooks will be deployed. 

CURRENT DEPLOYMENT
Currently all high school teachers have a Chromebook. Districtwide, all administrators, Instructional Technology Assistants, and secondary department chairs and core building coordinators have received Chromebooks.

SECONDARY ROLLOUT
One goal is to familiarize staff members with this technology as part of the Student Computing Initiative, helping them learn how to harness it for student use as dedicated student Chromebooks extend from freshmen in 2017-18 to all high school students in 2018-19 and all middle and high school students in 2020-21. So we can confirm that all middle school certified staff members will receive a new Chromebook on January 15, 2018.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
For the elementary schools, PLTW Launch iPad carts are the focus for student use in 2017-18 and 2018-19, but after that district Chromebooks for student use are expected to start appearing at those schools as well, in whatever roles are determined to be most appropriate.

THE CASE FOR EQUIPPING ALL CERTIFIED STAFF
Digital file
Another important aspect of staff Chromebook deployment is increased efficiency. Once all certified staff members have Chromebooks, most paper documents should be eliminated from district staff meetings and inservices. 

Providing agendas, handouts, minutes, and other records via the online G Suite for Education apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will allow them to be readily searchable and accessible. Moving to cloud-based G Suite documents also allows for easy collaboration and review. Eliminating paper documents also reduces production and storage costs.

THE FUTURE OF TEXTBOOKS
Digital Textbooks
The state has eliminated all dedicated textbook funding; another symptom of its chronic underfunding of public education. So the district must rely on locally approved bond issues to fund basic needs. The 2016 bond issue promoted the district's rollout of Chromebooks to secondary students as a way to reduce textbook costs.

Consequently the district is considering how to incorporate student Chromebooks into its textbook adoption process. Math is the subject area under adoption in 2018 in the state's six-year textbook cycle. So it seems likely we'll begin shifting from physical to electronic textbooks.

Chromebook carts currently deployed in 10-12 ELA classrooms could be shifted to 6-8 Math classrooms in 2018-19 to help support the use of electronic textbooks since middle school students won't receive Chromebooks until 2019-20.
CURRENTLY DEPLOYED DEVICES

STAFF: DELL 3120
Dell 3120
Since 2016-17, teachers in grades 9-12 and district administrators have had Dell Model 3120 Chromebooks. These devices have the traditional laptop configuration of a keyboard with a tilting non-touch screen that pivots up to 180 degrees. (A small initial group of devices from May 2016 had touch screens.) A small traditional carrying case was included. 9-12 teachers can complete Kung Fu Canvas training to also earn a Bluetooth mouse, spare charger, headset with microphone, and wireless Wacom digitizer.


CLASS OF 2021: DELL 3180
In August 2017 all 9th grade students were issued Dell Model 3180 Chromebooks. These also have the traditional laptop configuration of a keyboard with a tilting non-touch screen that pivots up to 180 degrees. The devices were supplied with always-on carrying cases.
Dell 3180
The freshmen are slated to keep their Dell 3180s throughout their high school career. The district will likely decide in January on what device it will deploy to the classes of 2019, 2020, and 2022 (the students who will be in grades 9, 11, and 12 in 2018-19).



FUTURE STAFF DEVICES

One technology goal of the 2016 bond issue was to provide teachers with mobile instructional devices that could be used while circulating through the classroom. An iPad is handy as a tablet, but cumbersome as a productivity tool, and still considerably more expensive than a Chromebook.

Google is working on adding support for Android apps to the Chrome operating system that runs Chromebooks. A convertible Chromebook with a touchscreen that rotates a full 360 degrees can be used in a variety of configurations. They could be useful classroom-carry devices used in tablet mode if there is sufficient improvement in operating system support and Android app availability.
Convertible Chromebook