Freshmen receive Chromebooks

posted Aug 15, 2017, 3:46 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Aug 15, 2017, 4:05 PM ]

Before classes begin on August 17, almost 400 freshmen at Bartlesville High School have already checked out a Chromebook for use at school and at home. Over 100 Chromebooks were issued after the Freshman Academy Bruin Camp on August 4, and about 280 more were issued during regular freshman registration on August 10. 

The rollout is the second phase of a multi-year Student Computing Initiative approved by Bartlesville voters as part of an August 2016 bond issue. In 2016-2017 carts with Chromebooks that were kept in the classroom were deployed in all English classes in grades 10-12, and those will remain in use this school year.

Those teachers built up experience incorporating the devices into their lessons and piloted the Canvas Learning Management System, which allows students to do all-digital assignments, take quizzes, participate in electronic discussions, and more using the Chromebook. The rollout to all freshmen builds on that experience base.

Granger Meador, the district's Executive Director of Technology & Communications, said, "We are excited to be able to provide this teaching and learning tool to all of our freshmen. We are just starting 1:1 computing here in Bartlesville, and both the students and their teachers will learn together this school year about how to use the devices, working through the inevitable challenges to capture the instructional potential of this technology."

Chromebooks are increasingly deployed to students in public schools, as they are relatively inexpensive computing devices which cost about the same as a few traditional textbooks and can be used the entire school day without being recharged. The cloud-based devices rely on WiFi for online storage and applications. Anticipating the challenges faced by students lacking WiFi at home, in the coming weeks the district will help teachers learn to make homework assignments using applications like Google Docs, which support offline editing on a Chromebook.

Parents were given the option of purchasing insurance from the district which covers the entire cost of an initial incident of damage or loss and half the cost of a second incident. Repairs and replacements will be handled through a new course at Bartlesville High School, the Student Technology Support Team. Mr. Meador indicated his confidence in the new course offering, as it will be taught by his wife, Wendy, a veteran classroom teacher who has years of prior experience offering technology support in the private sector.

With classes a couple of days away, only a few dozen incoming freshmen did not yet have a device. Their parents can surf to BPSCHROMEBOOK.COM to download and complete the necessary paperwork and even purchase the optional insurance and then checkout their Chromebook at the school. That website also offers students and parents help with the devices.

Help with the school's Canvas system, which is now available to students and teachers across grades 6-12, is available at BPSCANVAS.COM. At the Chromebook checkouts, parents and students were invited to watch an orientation video about the Chromebooks and Canvas.

After piloting take-home Chromebooks with freshmen this school year, the district plans to deploy Chromebooks across grades 9-12 in 2018-2019 and then across grades 6-12 in 2019-2020. The intent is to not only enhance instruction but to reduce district costs as the Chromebooks can eventually replace conventional textbooks and reduce the use of paper and other consumables used in traditional assignments.

Below: A freshman and his parent check out a Chromebook at Freshman Registration

Chromebook Checkout

Below: The district is in the second phase of a multi-year rollout of stuent computing devices

1:1 Timeline