District prepares for the 1-1 transition

District+prepares+for+the+1-1+transition

Anna Minton

BY HANNAH DEAR (’17) 

After years of waiting, the middle school and high school will receive a computer for every student starting next year.

The district has applied for grants the past couple of years in order to offset costs, but was unsuccessful.

“After last year’s grant fell through, Mr. Welker, our technology coordinator, set up a plan and a budget to be able to do it this year,” applications coordinator Evan McCullough said.

The budget is larger, but there is not enough room for both textbooks and 1-1 computers.

“Our operating budget is about 26 million dollars and built into that are things like textbooks,” superintendent Jeff Brown said.

Because the grants were not available to the district, the solution was to buy Chromebooks at a cheaper cost.

“Hopefully we can afford to do Chromebooks for every student seventh through twelfth grade at a price point of $200 a device,” McCullough said.

The money is already in the school district for 1-1 computers with cost-shifting.

“If you just reallocate money to 1-1 instead of purchasing textbooks you’re just cost-shifting,” Brown said.

Because technology has a lifespan, most of these Chromebooks will not be cycled through the school.

“The idea ultimately is that after four years the device will reach its end of usefulness for us,” McCullough said. “Students will have the option to take that device as a personal device.”

The goal is that fewer textbooks can be used and more technology will be implemented.

“The initial investment will be 400,000 and that is partially some of the money we would have spent on new textbooks,” Brown said.

 

INFOGRAPHIC BY ANNA MINTON (’17)

However, this year’s students will not have this same opportunity because they will not be in high school for four more years upon receiving the laptops.

“Those devices will be taken down as the graduate to the intermediate schoolers and we will buy new devices for the seventh graders,” McCullough said.

Even though every student will have their own computer starting next year, some of the desktops will stay.

“I’m certain that the media room will stay and the library ones will stay,” McCullough said. “I’m pretty sure the study hall computers will be moved since every student will have a one to one and won’t need those computers.”

The remaining laptops in the high school and middle school will remain in the district.

“The laptops will go to the elementary and intermediate schools,” McCullough said. “The teachers will still have their standard PC laptops.”

The main goal is to get as many of the older devices out of the district so that the high school can have the Chromebooks.

“We have about 1,800 devices in the district. We’re going to get rid of some of the older models and shift to the Chromebooks,” Brown said.

These new laptops will allow more activities in the classroom and outside of it.

“The great thing about the Chromebooks is that you can have them powered on and signed in within fifteen seconds from completely off,” McCullough said. “You can theoretically open it up, do something quickly in class, shut it off, and pull it out again later for a small activity.”

These new Chromebooks will allow for less frustration and more teaching in classrooms.

“The goal is that every ninth grader will have a new Chromebook and after four years they will have the option to take that with them,” McCullough said.

1-1 TIMELINE

INFOGRAPHIC BY ANNA MINTON (’17)