Author Archives: Brian Abeling

About Brian Abeling

Director of Technology, serving West Des Moines Community Schools

Want to help review protective case options?

A few weeks ago, I invited vendors to send in samples of their protective cases. So far I’ve received about 40 different samples.

Basically, all of them fall into three categories:  Shells, bags, and stay in cases.

 

 

 

 

 

Shell:

It’s just like a case that you buy for your phone, it fits directly onto the device.

PROS: It’s always with the device and provides the best protection.  Smaller than the other options and has a better chance of fitting into your existing bag/backpack.

CONS: It doesn’t store/carry the power charger, so there’s a better chance that you might lose your power charger.

Feedback I’ve received so far: This option has been preferred by high school students, since many of them already carry their own bag/backpacks.  The parent groups that I’ve talked to so far, they also prefer it for high school students, but have expressed interest in NOT using at 3rd thru 8th grade.

 

 

Bag:

Just a bag, something you store the device in, but you have to take it out of the bag to use it.


PROS:  It carries the Chromebook and the power charger together.

CONS: You have to take the Chromebook out of the bag to use it.  Would students actually use the bag? or just use their own?  If it’s nothing more than just a way to carry the device and doesn’t really protect it, is it worthwhile?

Feedback I’ve received so far:  Neither parents groups nor students groups have a preference for this category.

 

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Stay-in-case

A bag which not only carries the device, but you can open the bag to use the device.

PROS:  Used to carry the chromebook and protect it while its in use.  Most stay in cases comes with space to store the power charger.

CONS: If it’s too big or bulkly, will students use it? or do classrooms require students to use them (which is what is happening now at New Tech Schools that have 1:1 chromebooks)

Feedback I’ve received so far: Parent groups would like to see a stay-in-case for grades 3 thru 8, as they want the charger and the device together  – and they want the device protected while they are in use.

 

How will the decision be made and how can we provide feedback to the process?

During the month of March and early April,  I’ll be taking feedback from students, staff, and parents.  I’ve already been out to meet with some parent groups, as well as multiple student groups – but am looking to schedule additional meetings as well.  Just contact Brian Abeling, abelingb@wdmcs.org if your group is interested in seeing the samples and providing feedback.

Other options:

  • Email Brian Abeling, abelingb@wdmcs.org with any thoughts, concerns, ideas
  • Add your feedback to the comments section of this post.
  • Or contact Brian to have him visit with your group/audience.

 

 

1:1 Updates as of March 7th

Updates related to our district’s plan to move to 1:1, providing a Chromebook to all 3rd grade thru 12th grade students for the 17-18 school year.

  1. 1:1 Checklist for each school.  
    The Tech Department has created a checklist that is specific for each school that has been shared with each school administrator.  It provides schools with a list of 15 items to consider as they prepare for assigning devices to students.  If you’d like to be a part of your school’s planning related to 1:1, please contact your building administration.
  2. Case selections have started
    We’ve started collecting cases/protective options for the devices from vendors.  In addition, we’ve started sharing the options with both parent groups and student groups, collecting their feedback and preferences.  If your school has a student group and/or parent group that would like to provide feedback on the cases, please contact Brian Abeling, abelingb@wdmcs.org and he can arrange to meet with your group.
  3. New web filtering testing
    We’ve begun testing out the new software that will provide web filtering for the 1:1 chromebooks.  If testing proceeds as planned, we are hoping to provide parent access to the web filtering this spring for a select test group of parents.
  4. Logistics
    The district tech team has continued with their logistics planning related to removing the chromebooks from their carts and moving them to cases for students.  The actual moving of equipment out of carts won’t begin until after summer starts.
  5. Training
    Here’s a quick overview of upcoming training:
    a. Week of April 10th:  Face to face training is planned for all teacher leader positions.
    b. April 28th:  Some schools have selected to use this day for building based introductory Canvas training through their teacher leaders.
    c. June 5th -Some schools are also looking at optional canvas training on the last contract day through their teacher leaders.
    d. Online courses available: Canvas also provides instructor-led and recorded training options.
    e. Summer training options:  The district is also working on study group and staff development course options that would be available this summer.