Last week we announced that a proposal is moving forward to our school board for moving to 1:1 with chromebooks for grades 3 thru 12. Here’s some additional details/information…
What are the details of the plan?
1. District takes ownership of all chromebooks and reshuffles them to provide one for each student grades 3 -12 (in other words, no one can say “these chromebooks are excluded because I bought them with my departments or schools funds”) All chromebooks are needed to ensure all students 3 – 12 benefit. We will need the summer months for the reshuffle, as we expect it will take two months to reshuffle and prepare the devices for delivery in early August.
What about parent groups that purchased devices? Chromebooks purchased by parent groups will be included in this reshuffle. The current plan involves using each building’s existing inventory to supply their own students – so the devices they purchased will be used for their students.
2. District will commit to replacing Chromebooks on a 4 or 5 year cycle. We will budget for 4 years, but will stretch to 5 years if devices are ok.
3. District will provide technical support and services for repairing Chromebooks, just as we currently doing for Chromebooks, including 1:1 Chromebooks at New Tech Schools.
4. District will provide the Chromebooks ready to use… schools will not have to install, inventory, or prepare the devices, these services will be provided by the district. Chromebooks will be inventoried to your school’s library assets and can be checked out just like a book. In fact, once a Chromebook is assigned to your school, it stays at your school and never travels with the student. If a student changes their primary enrollment to another school, they check the device back into their old school and checkout one from their new school.
5. District will provide a number of spares for each school, so the school can provide a loaner to students while their original device is repaired. We expect the original device to be returned to the student and the “spare” will always remain as a “spare”, unless assigned to a new student who just enrolled.
6. District will purchase accident insurance for all devices (using management funds), which means students/families may be responsible for damage/replacement if the insurance does not cover the incident. Any fines related to damage/lost devices will be collected by schools.
7. District curriculum funds will contribute $200,000 per year, which will ensure long term sustainability for 1:1 at grades 3-12. Building funds will not be shifted to contribute to 1:1, however, all existing printing costs (including replacement of printers) will be shifted to building funding. This means 100% of all printing will be covered by each school/department/office. For example, right now schools pay for only toner and paper. In the new model, schools will pay for all supplies, including replacing the printer. The district techs will provide quotes for the appropriate printer, but the cost will be covered by the school requesting (typical network printer is $500).
How will this impact building budgets? The impact to the building budget is very little – as we’ve done an audit of school expenses on technology for the past five years which has shown that building funds were already used for technology devices such as Chromebook and iPads. If we proceed with 1:1, buildings will not need to buy Chromebooks on their own any longer, so they can use those funds for printers. In addition, this will move 100% of printing costs to the school level, meaning their printing costs are directly related to how much they choose to print.
8. District will provide a learning management system (Canvas) as a single location for all online classroom content to all grades that are provided with 1:1. (New Tech Schools are an exception – as they are required to use ECHO for their system, but all others will move to Canvas). In addition, the S: drive will be removed and the cost savings are factored into the long term sustainability for 1:1.
The district’s online committee has already researched and reviewed learning management systems and selected Canvas.
Will the S: drive disappear right away?
If we proceed, the S drive would not be available next school year for students – but it will still be available for staff so they still have the ability to access materials and transition to Canvas.
9. District will research advanced web filtering, providing filtering not only at school, but also anywhere the device is located. We would like to provide building administrators with access to review student internet usage and we would also like parents to have the ability to review student internet usage as well. In addition, we would like to enable parents to have the ability to set home internet filtering policies.
10. Schools will distribute the Chromebooks, both checkout and checkin. Schools will also determine when/how the checkin/checkout will occur.
11. Schools will collect the parent permission forms related to taking the device home.
12. Once we have moved to 1:1 devices for grades 3 – 12, schools/departments/offices will no longer be allowed to purchase student technology devices for these grade levels.
13. What is the training plan?
We are preparing training sessions for teacher leaders and teachers will start this summer. By enabling teacher leaders, we will be able to provide school level support to classroom teachers.
14. What is the timeline?
Our current draft is based on the ideals that we should A) spend as little as possible to get to 1:1 B) move as little of the inventory around as possible to get to 1:1. With those ideals, the current plan involves grades 3-12 moving to 1:1 at the start of the 17-18 school year.
15. Is there a plan to expand 1:1 to cover PreK to 2nd grade?
No plans for next school year, however, it will be a future topic. For next year, PreK to 2nd grade will continue with the classroom resources they have.
Other questions that have been asked…
Q1. Chromebooks can’t print, so how will students print their work?
A1. Chromebooks can actually print, just like other devices. When our district first rolled out chromebooks, we left the printing capability turned off and it is still turned off today. At the time, it was decided that we wanted to move digital and printing could still be done through other devices.
For next year, we’ll let each school determine how they want to handle printing. What’s interesting about printing and having kids each have a device – many schools are reporting increases in their printing costs. If every student can print to every printer – and they can print from home or from school, and they can print at night as well as during the day – it will leave us with some new challenges.
For next year, we will enable printing, but only when the school requests it and has considered how they will handle the costs of the printing.
Q2. Has there been conversation about moving other existing iPads down to PreK-2?
A2. There was some conversation, but it was determined the iPads at the upper grade levels were purchased specifically because of the new science curriculum – and there are specific apps they use with specific units. We weren’t able to find apps/extensions on the chromebook to replace the need for the iPads. Instead of changing anything with the iPads, we choose to remove their access to classroom desktops and reduce the number of windows laptops.
For PreK-2, we won’t be removing or changing anything they have in their classrooms – at least for next year. However, I would like to continue to talk with PreK-2 and curriculum directors to discuss what changes might be of interest at PreK-2. So far, I’ve heard responses including…
* Leave it alone
* reduce desktops and move to chromebooks which go home with students
* reduce desktops and move to chromebooks which stay at school
* increase ipads and remove desktops