Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spotlight on: Our iPads and Chromebooks (from Parent Portal classic site 2/1/16)

We have a set of iPads for classroom check-out at Armstrong, Glendale, Lincoln, Shute and Wilson. They are very heavily in demand in our K-2 buildings and are used mostly for reading, language arts and mathematics instruction. This is in spite of the fact that our K-2 buildings are currently still being wired for wifi access points in classrooms. Previously they've been in hallways, and some rooms had better connectivity than others. Lincoln uses them quite a bit, primarily for RazKids and Reading A-Z, while Glendale uses them primarily for mathematics. Wifi access points have already been installed in classrooms at the 3-5 level.

All of our K-2 and 3-5 buildings have a cart of Chromebooks available for check-out, while CJHS has 4 such carts. Our K-2 buildings just received their carts in the middle of this school year, so use is just starting to pick up. Our 2nd grade teachers are using them most frequently, with 1st grade teachers coming in second. The Chromebooks are in very high demand in our 3-5 buildings, and teachers have begun using Google Classroom to deliver assignments. Our 4 CJHS carts are in high demand as well and constantly in use. They too have begun using Google Classroom, as it not only delivers assignments but also sets all the sharing rights for teachers and students alike.

Our iPads are used quite a lot by our special education teachers and many have their "own" that stays in their classroom. Aimsweb testing is often done using the iPads. While MAP testing has to be completed on desktop computers (because of the way we purchase MAP testing), both computer labs and Chromebooks can and have been used for PARCC testing. We could theoretically PARCC test on our iPads, but we would need to purchase keyboards for them to do so.

What has been the impact of having iPads and Chromebooks in district? It has been huge! Basically, it has moved and spread the use of technology integration into the curriculum from just the labs (with limited times to signup for) into the classrooms themselves. The advent of iPads for classrooms prompted wifi throughout the building, a major improvement. Plus, 1 Chromebook cart doubles the typical use of the 1 computer lab in each of our K-2 and 3-5 buildings!

Wondering what Google Classroom looks like?  Below is a "Parents' Introduction to Google Classroom" from Patrick Donovan on YouTube.

YouTube Video: Parents' Introduction to Google Classroom

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