Monday, February 25, 2013

East Leyden High Chromebook Visit Review

Friday presented a great opportunity for our school district to send eight teachers and administrators to East Leyden High School.  We were provided a day long opportunity to witness the implementation of Chromebooks to all students.  Every student has one Chromebook.  The school is also a Google Apps For Education District.

View Entire Presentation East Leyden Produced

Facts that I was able to gather:
  • Superintendent stated some time ago that we (Leyden School District) was either going to implement Chromebooks sooner or later, but they were going to implement them
  • Visited North Carolina who implemented Chromebooks with district, staff, and school board.  After the visit the Board of Education stated, "knowing what we know now, we can't afford to not do this"
  • Chromebook removes a ton of logisitcs
  • They are in their first year of integrating Chromebooks
  • Homework is always present through the cloud
  • Some distractions occurred.  Twitter and Facebook needed to be blocked
  • Observed Chromebooks being utilized in different ways
  • Some students were checking email while teachers were teaching
  • Went "all in" with this initiative
  • Created mandatory parent meeting
  • 3,500 Chromebooks To Students
  • 260 Teachers
  • Bought "Loaner" computers and have plan for their use
  • Expected that students charge Chromebooks each night
  • Leyden created Digital Evolution Summit for teachers who led it
  • The school district uses "Open Class" for classroom management 
  • Incorporated Tech Support Internship
    • Students learning five different strands of hands-on technology
    • Students expected to assess various issues that occur throughout the day for students and teachers and come up with best approach to resolving them
    • Students work on various projects throughout the year
    • Slide 29 of presentation
    • Students blog about their TSI experiences
    • Passion for technology
  • Students loved the fact that homework is always available
  • Students loved the collaboration component
  • Student perspective on Chromebooks
  • Student and parent procedures
View video of actual students and teachers in action.

Personal thoughts as we decide the direction we are moving as a district:
  • IT managers will love Chromebooks.  Minimal set up. Hear Some Thoughts
  • School must be Google Apps For Education
  • We need to go "all in" if we are to accomplish true transformation. All in with whatever device we choose
  • Pulaski School District is incorporating so much of the transformation of learning with a small amount of devices at this time!  Yeah, for teachers!
  • The best thing I saw was the creation of the "Tech Support Internship" (TSI)
    • 90 high school students helping staff and students with tech support
    • Students also learn five strands of tech certification
    • We need to implement this as soon as possible
  • iPads still need to be utilized!  The creation piece of the iPads is above and beyond what a Chromebook can do.  My opinion.  
  • Ideal setup: Every student has a Chromebook with iPads available in some fashion for supplemental use.  Someone really needs to slam a Chromebook and an iPad together so that everyone gets each operating system and all the functionality.  Then the perfect device would exist.  Wait it does, kind of!
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