We are now over six weeks into our junior high school 1:1 technology initiative. At the beginning of the school year, all of the junior high students were provided with Chromebooks, a type of laptop computer, to use in classes at school, at home, and everywhere in between. From the technical side of things, the deployment has gone quite smoothly. The Chromebooks are functioning as expected. Knowing that many things could have gone wrong, we praise and thank God for blessing us with a smooth roll out!
Here are a few examples of what students and teachers are saying about the Chromebooks:
From an 8th grader:
“I like that we have our Chromebooks because we don't have to go to the computer lab any more because we have our computers with us. And they are also useful because they are small and portable. I think that we get a lot of things done better and quicker on our own personal Chromebooks.”
From a 7th grader:
“I like the Chromebooks because you can do lots [of] things at one time. You make documents, presentations and more. If you have a Chromebook you can do research for anything you want. Also [you] can work anywhere with Chromebooks.”
From a 6th grader:
“I like my Chromebook because… it helps me in my classes, it helps me remember my assignments, It helps me understand and learn things I've never known before.”
From Mrs. Hickox:
“Students stay engaged. In Bible class, the eighth grade students had to retell a miracle of Jesus. First, the students put pictures into Google Presentation, then using the app "Movenote", the students transferred their presentation pictures… I don't think any of the students will forget the miracle they selected to do on "Movenote".
Students learn from each other. Using the app, "Schoology", students write a personal reflection on a scripture passage. They post the reflection. Students read the posts of their classmates, then reply to the original post giving positive feedback to their classmates… “
From Mr. Beutlich:
“They have improved lab report data reporting, because of the ease of graph creation.”
From Mr. Bakker:
“It is great that students have access to their math textbooks online.”
From Mrs. VanderKam:
“I am very pleased with how well the students have adapted to using the Chromebooks. For my classes we use it most for completing assignments with presentations assigned and for writing essays. The ability of the students to run their essays through Grammarly, edit them and then share the edited work with me is resulting in greatly improved writing samples.”
Of course the transition to the Chromebooks is not without its challenges. Students have voiced concerns about difficulties connecting to wireless networks, and sometimes documents and websites load too slowly. Sometimes the Chromebooks malfunction. Keeping track of and protecting the Chromebooks is an added responsibility. Some students wish the Chromebooks would be used in class more often, and take the place of the heavy textbooks they need to lug between classes. These are all valid concerns, and we are working hard to address them.
…And of course students need to remember to bring their charged Chromebook to school every day. So here’s a friendly reminder to all of the junior high school students to remember to charge their Chromebooks tonight 🙂
Director of Technology
Calvin Christian School