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Jordan's Future Ready Program: 1-to-1 Chromebooks

What's the Future Ready initiative all about?  Palo Alto USD is committed to preparing students for careers and literacy in the digital age. Go to the PAUSD website to read more about what this means for the District.

Here's a handy guide to the 2016-17 Future Ready initiative at Jordan:
Chromebook 1-to-1: All the 411 - FAQs
Questions? contact Dr. Smith at jsmith@pausd.org  

And Here's a copy of the ORIENTATION PRESENTATION that was reviewed with all 7th graders.


Here is the RESPONSIBLE USE GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS/GUARDIANS - this document will be delivered electronically to all students and families, and signatures from both are required in order to receive a Chromebook.

ABOUT THE INITIATIVE:  A survey of staff in the fall of 2015 considered the use of educational technologies at Jordan and asked what direction we should be moving toward in order to facilitate an active and engaging learning environment. By far, the majority of Jordan teaching staff wished for a 1-to-1 environment, so that curriculum would not be dictated by the availability of devices, but that technology devices would be employed in service of a dynamic, flexible curriculum. 1-to-1 is a game-changer for classroom instruction, enabling powerful and immediate connections with real world studies and inquiry. Chromebooks also emerged as the device of choice because of the built-in keyboard, to encourage and support our goal of writing across the curriculum. To explore this mandate from the survey, a Tech Advisory Group was formed-- a large, diverse cross-section of staff from all grade levels and subjects. The group would meet to discuss options and considerations, report out to Departments and/or Teams, and then return to meet again. Over several months' time, our initiative emerged. Here are a few highlights of those discussions:

Recommendation
After much discussion of various possible scenarios, our Tech Advisory Group voted unanimously to recommend that

  • yes, students should be allowed to take Chromebooks home, rather than leaving them at school
  • and, after some initial orientation and training, they should be allowed to take them home shortly after the start of school
Reasoning
The group was initially considering whether the computers should:
  • go home right away with students; or
  • go home after a significant training period such as 3-4 months; or
  • not go home at all.
Ultimately, it was felt that students should be allowed to take them home close to the beginning of school, so that:
  • students will feel pride of possession and be moved to take better care of their laptop (based on evidence from other schools and reporting from our own Jordan pilot 12 years ago)
  • students will be able to use the laptop as a learning tool sooner rather than later
  • Jordan will have a true experience of what it means to have a 1:1 environment in at least one grade level
  • Jordan will not have significant expenditures for more carts in order to warehouse all the laptops for months; or the problem of who would get the carts and how to move them from class to class. Basically, we want to move away from the mobile cart model towards a saturated environment so that laptops become a viable tool for both school and home, and teachers won’t have to plan weeks in advance for access.
  • Looking at the Gunn and Paly models, as well as a few local schools, the choice of Chromebooks is a good one for our population; rugged, minimal breakage issues, long battery life; and, students become familiar with them in 6th grade
  • This year's 8th grade is a large class-- creating a big “bubble” requiring more sections, etc.-- whereas, the current 7th grade is relatively small, only around 365.
  • This year’s 6th grade is known to be another “bubble”-- another large class, that may mean a considerable difference in cost for our first deployment.
  • 7th graders this year will already be familiar with Chromebooks because of their experience in 6th grade; less intimidation, and more knowledge and ease with the device. Training will still be necessary, of course, but the hope is that most students will have better comfort level.