Information Technology (IT) has become an integral part of our lives in a short while. Today most adults and students have access to multiple internet enabled devices at home or at their work places. Technology has also become an essential part of education here at Fountainhead School.
To be able to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society, students must be able to utilize technology effectively. Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them ubiquitous access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous. The ability to use the information & resources meaningfully and effectively is the one skill that will be valued in their careers in the 21st century. Further, technology enables the school to potentially differentiate content to individual needs of the students.
What we intend to do?
A large team at school has spent a lot of time in discussing and debating the pros and cons of having 1:1 devices. We’ve done a lot of research and read about many examples of the same. We have seen some examples with our own eyes and we are convinced that introduction of technology in this way has significant potential academic gains that far outweigh the issues that will also crop up along side.
Therefore, we would like to start with a 1:1 computing device program from Grade 5 onwards. Every student of Grade 5 and above is expected to purchase a Google Chromebook.
From Grade 1-4, the school has invested into at least a set of 20 Chromebooks for each grade level so that they can access them frequently. This will also prepare them to make the best use of the devices in their academic journey.
What are the specific advantages?
The following are the obvious advantages:
- Improve student engagement by being able to engage students whose learning path and curve is different from the average students
- Address differentiation effectively by using numerous online resources such as Khan academy and many more for language enhancement
- Allowing students to develop quality research, analytical, synthesis and critical thinking skills
- Bring the world closer by allowing for better opportunities for global exposure and collaboration
- Allowing for much quicker feedback on the student’s work, which will also be shared with parents hopefully leading to improved academic focus
And there are many more advantages.What’s our experience like? What’s the world doing?
World over many schools are bringing in 1:1 devices, with whole districts in the US adopting Google Chromebook itself from a young age. An example many of us have witnessed closely is of American School of Bombay, a reputed IB school, where students have been using 1:1 devices from Grade 1 since many years and they are making a lot of academic progress using the same.
Read More Here
Why have we chosen a Chromebook and not other devices? Read “Why Chromebook” section.
What steps can we take to ensure safety and prevent damage of the devices? Read “Safety Concerns” section.
How can we ensure that the devices are used effectively at school and at home? Read “Parent Undertaking” section.
There are many technical reasons for the same:
We believe that Chromebook is the right device for the students for the following reasons:
- Battery Life: Chromebooks have significantly longer battery life, ranging between 8-10 hours.
- Booting Times: Chrome OS boots at flashing speed, it takes only 10 seconds for booting up. This is a pretty good point when compared to Windows laptops.
- Virus Free:Chrome OS is based on Linux, which means possibility of getting infected is fairly low.
- Auto Update: Chrome OS can update by itself, means when you boot up it starts with automatic updated version.
- Security: ChromeOS Management Console (perpetual license): This console will enable the school administration to configure and manage each Chromebook with ease, and will allow us to add security features (such as user restriction, apps restriction) as well allow many value-added features such as making an app landing page, online testing etc.
B. Chromebook options available in India:
Price of a Chromebook is very much budget friendly when compared to Windows laptops or Macbooks. They are inexpensive , this is a pretty good reason to prefer a Chromebook.
- Acer: 22000/- (With three years warranty)
- Dell: 25500/- (With three years warranty)
- Asus: 25000/- (With three years warranty)
We have a number of policies, routines and procedures supported by effective training of students, teachers and parents to ensure that the potential safety issues are take care of.
Students need to learn responsibility. Most of them regularly handle costly devices regularly at home and are capable of managing them. We have to make them accountable for the same. So, every student is fully responsible for the care and upkeep of his own device.
We conduct a few exercises in the beginning of the year such as taking care of a fragile object (such as a Khakra for 2 days) – only if you do this successfully then you get to bring your device.
We then practice a number of routines and procedures to ensure that students know how to take care of their devices – how to carry their device, what to do with the devices during the breaks etc.
We have classroom carts/lockers in every section to ensure safe keeping of the Chromebooks.
Each Chromebook is clearly labelled with the student’s details (name, grade, section). Further, user logins to each Chromebook is restricted by the school administrator meaning that you can’t login into a Chromebook other than school email id.
Some students misplace their Chromebooks at times – the school has a quick and efficient lost and found process dedicated to this.
Firstly, among students since all students in Grade 5 and above have their own Chromebooks, it means that there’s very little reason to steal other’s device. Some rare cases of theft might still happen; therefore insurance against theft and damages is strongly recommended for each device.
Parent Undertaking for Chromebook