Beginning in the fall of 2013, the Orange City School District began a 1:1 chromebook initiative for students in grades 3 and 6-8. We expanded the program in the fall of 2014 to include grades 3-8, adding grades 4 and 5 to the program. In the fall of 2016, when our iPads in grades K-2 were being replaced, teachers in grade 2 decided to move to chromebooks for all students. Starting in the fall of 2017, Orange High School will be added to our chromebook program, phasing in the use of these tools to all grade levels by 2019.
What is a Chromebook?
According to PC Magazine, a chromebook is "A laptop that runs Google's Chrome operating system and Chrome Web browser. Providing a total Web-based operating environment, all applications are downloaded from the Web, and although an Internet connection is mandatory, some apps may run offline as well. Chromebooks boot up fast and require minimal user configuration. They also come with Google's office suite (see Google Docs). See Chrome OS and Chrome browser."
Why use chromebooks in education?
The first instructional game changer for our district was moving to Google Apps for Education in 2011. Moving to this platform provided a universal medium for increased communication and collaboration among staff and students. By the time we moved to a 1:1 chromebook program in 2013 our staff and students were well prepared to utilize tools necessary for college and career readiness.
With a 1:1 learning platform, students have even greater access to technology...To Learn. To Lead. To Make A Difference.TM
Advantages of a 1:1 Program!
There are numerous advantages to utilizing our chromebook 1:1 program including:
- Teachers are able to provide differentiated materials based on individual student’s needs.
- Increased opportunities for student/teacher/parent collaboration and communication.
- Students are more organized and better able to keep track of homework and learning materials.
- Appropriate integration of software into the curriculum, low cost for hardware and software tools.
- Teacher classroom management (teachers are better able to monitor student activity and keep students on task).
- Students become familiar with their Chromebooks and are better able to navigate required state assessments.
- Chromebooks are maintained, managed, and repaired by Orange Technology Services.
- Students are able to access learning resources anytime, anywhere.
- Chromebooks are immune to most malware and viruses that commonly infiltrate Mac and Windows machines.
- Content and system updates and apps can be remotely "pushed" to all chromebooks simultaneously without disrupting student learning.
- Chrome is updated every two to three weeks providing bug fixes and incremental improvements.
- Chrome updates happen automatically, without having to touch each machine, and with no interruption to students.
Students at Moreland Hills Elementary and Brady Middle School keep their chromebooks at school while students at Orange High School will take their chromebooks to and from home.