Chromebook Distribution - 2018
Students in grades 8-12 now have personal Chromebooks for use at school and to take home.
The Emmett Independent School District (ESD) distributed the computing devices that use the Google operating system to nearly 1,000 students in upper grades August 27-28.
“I think it’s great to provide technology for these kids,” Emmett High School principal Wade Carter said. “Teachers are becoming more involved in using technology in their classrooms.”
Each personal Chromebook comes with a charger, and each student is responsible for bringing his or her charged Chromebook to school. As needed, Chromebooks are available in the library and charging stations are located at strategic points throughout Emmett High School, Black Canyon High School, and Emmett Middle School. The District has wi-fi hotspots available for checkout if students don’t have internet access outside of school.
“This is the beginning, so of course there are some growing pains,” high school librarian Heather Hardman said. “But it’s great for the students to have technology at their fingertips.”
Technology distribution is a major component of the district’s Blended Learning Plan that was approved by voters as part of a supplemental levy in May of 2017. Prior to distributing personal Chromebooks, the district had utilized Chromebook carts in many classrooms. Now every classroom from Kindergarten through 7th grade has a cart, and access to technology is district-wide.
“It’s really nice to have (a Chromebook) right in my bag for easy access,” junior Kaeden Webb said. “The only problem is remembering to charge them at night.”
Teachers have noticed increased productivity as students who finish lessons in one class can catch up on work in other classes.
“If they finish a lesson in my class a little early, they may work on math or Spanish,” English teacher Katie Watkins said. “Overall, it has been seamless and super easy.”
Seniors had personal Chromebooks starting last year, and they will be allowed to take those devices with them after graduation from ESD. That process aligns with the district’s device replacement plan as Google guarantees software compatibility on a Chromebook for five years.
Caption: Emmett High School math teacher Shayne Seubert helps a student with an algebra problem on his Chromebook.