School district to expand Chromebook Program to high school students
– Paso Robles Joint Unified School District will be expanding its 1:1 Chromebook program this week to include all students in grades six through twelve. The 1:1 Chromebook refers to the ratio of one Google Chromebook device for every student to not only use at school, but to take home every day. PRJUSD was the first school district in San Luis Obispo County to provide devices for use at home for all 1500 middle school students last year in grades six through eight. By the end of this week, that number will increase to almost 4000 to include students at Paso Robles High School, Independence High School, and Liberty Continuation High School.
Providing all secondary students with Chromebooks is “a huge game changer in equality and access to information and technology tools for all students,” according to the PRJUSD Supervisor of Education Technology, Ronalee Andersen, who is also a parent of a senior at Paso Robles High School. “Teachers no longer have to broker lab time and can now work to teach students about good and credible sources of information. This gives students an advantage as they move into an increasingly digital world, whether they join the work force immediately after graduation or pursue higher education.”
Students and parents alike value the importance and advantages of using Chromebooks citing reasons such as collaboration using Goggle docs, more engagement in classes, and feeling prepared for college and career. Eighth grader, Ceci Martinez, said, “I like how you can do your work at your own pace with your device.” Parent Jennifer Fanning says that her child is ready for 21st Century learning and that she is “so impressed with their tech skills.”
Not only was an investment made on the devices themselves, but also on the training for teachers and staff that would now be using them daily in their instruction. Staff members have participated in Google Suite trainings and content-specific technology trainings. There is also a designated technology lead teacher at each school site who is qualified to assist staff members with everything from planning lessons to troubleshooting equipment issues.
Devices for the high school students are scheduled to be distributed this week beginning with seniors. Middle school students have already received their devices for the year. Adds Superintendent Chris Williams, “I am thrilled to see technology in the hands of our students and staff. The rollout to every secondary student will close the achievement gap, ensure equity of access to learning, maximize student learning opportunities, and provide a communication tool for over 4000 students.”