In 2013, the Danvers Public Schools became a Google Apps for Education district. This allowed teachers and students to begin using Google’s cloud based services such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides from any computer in school or at home. When it came time to replace the aging laptop carts at the Holten Richmond Middle School, Chromebooks seemed a logical choice. The Chromebooks are user friendly, integrate completely with Google Apps for Education, and are at a price point that would allow the district to move to a one to one environment.
In 2014 two faculty test groups were set up to test whether Chromebooks would work for HRMS students and staff. Each faculty member in the test group had eight weeks to use several models of Chromebooks and download as many apps as they wished to test. Based on the positive results of this trial, 4 Chromebook carts were purchased for use during the 2014-15 school year. During the year the technology department and the HRMS administration, checked on usage and provided ongoing professional development to faculty. The feedback we received mirrored the initial test group’s findings. This experience led to the decision to move to a one computer to one student learning environment at HRMS.
Advantages of using a Chromebook
- The Chrome operating system is one of the most secure available.
- Chromebooks are cloud based. Everything a student creates, shares, or views is stored on their personal account in the cloud.
- Collaboration is as simple as clicking sharing for a document, form, or presentation with anyone else in the Danvers Public Schools – danvers.org – domaine.
- After a full charge the Chromebook battery will last up to 8 hours, long enough to last the entire school day.
- The Chromebook has a quick 8 second boot up time so students can spend more time learning and less on waiting for the technology to be ready.
- Applications automatically update every time the Chromebook is restarted.
- Google has created a management environment for Chromebooks that can be specific and detailed to help student learning .
- Google Apps for Education provides faculty with a built in learning management system.