Introducing Chromebooks the Classroom

Principal+Kelly+Allison+has+decorated+his+district+provided+staff+device++with+stickers%2C+and+students+can+too%21+
Principal Kelly Allison has decorated his district provided staff device  with stickers, and students can too!

Principal Kelly Allison has decorated his district provided staff device with stickers, and students can too!

Kelli Volonte

Kelli Volonte

Principal Kelly Allison has decorated his district provided staff device with stickers, and students can too!

Kelli Volonte, Business Manager

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4.8 million dollars – the amount that Springfield Public Schools spent on Chromebooks for the district.

 

Three years into the Ignite program, also known as going one-to-one, and Kickapoo and Glendale students receive their Chromebooks as teachers integrate technology into the classroom.

The Ignite program is the name for the induction of Chromebooks into Springfield Public Schools.

 

Principal Kelly Allison explained the district’s plan for the Ignite program.

 

“They’ve established a budget now that it’s year three of the program. They’re going to purchase new Chromebooks every three years,” Allison said.

He believes that with the new technology it will allow kids other options.

 

“I think with the new technology it’s going to provide new opportunities for students. It will give kids opportunity to learn outside of the classroom,” Allison said.

 

Although a worry has been that technology will replace teachers.

 

“I don’t think technology will ever replace teachers,” Allison explained.

 

Ecology teacher, Mr. Hostetler, has seen one of the most important benefits as he has been incorporating technology into his sciences classes.

“I think that the biggest benefit I’ve seen is I can give them a quick quiz and give them immediate feedback,” Hostetler explained. “We struggle with this concept so let’s talk about this.”

 

Even though sometimes it is easy for students to get off task, Hostetler believes that incorporating Chromebooks and technology into the classroom can change things in a positive way.

Students get more of a hands on experience in a way with utilizing the tools technology is providing.

 

“One of the things I do in this class is link the Missouri Conservation online guide, They click on the link to the guide, and then they can identify the organisms,” Hostetler said.

 

He sees the future of this program focusing on personalizing the education of each student.

“We will be able to meet the needs of every student because they all have different learning styles,” he explained.

For art teacher Mrs. Loudis the introduction of Chromebooks has allowed her classroom to evolve.

“The traditional classroom isn’t going anywhere. It ‘s going to be a hybrid of personal and live teaching and then the student side with researching,” Loudis said.

She has noticed that with the Chromebooks when she assigns work, the work get done.

“The accountability is there with Chromebooks. It’s easier to track down who’s done what,” she explained.

The introduction of technology into an art classroom means discussion boards and daily research, but also there is an empowerment that comes with Canvas and Chromebooks.

“The grading turnaround is efficient. It puts some power back on the students,” Loudis said. “I think it’s empowering to have this in front of you to crank out what ever you need to.”

Junior Payton Marlin recognizes the benefit of Chromebooks, but for him personally they are not his preference.

“Chromebooks are useful but they’re not for everyone,” he said.

Even though he does not prefer them, Marlin understands the benefit in them. For him, Chromebooks do not provide programs like Microsoft Word or Excel that he needs to use for his engineering classes. Chromebooks also are not a platform for programs such as Autodesk, which is a 3D design software used in the engineering classes.

“We’re taught to use Excel and Word in Digital Communications [class],” Marlin explained. “In engineering classes, we don’t get Chromebooks. We get like normal laptops with Word and Excel.”

Although he does believe that the school does a very good job of providing the students with the materials they need.

Marlin also acknowledges that everyone learns differently, but his feelings about Chromebooks’ influence on the students’ learning is contrary to Hostetler’s.

“It seems kind of forced because not everything learns the exact same way,” Marlin said. “Some people learn hands on. Some classes just give you a Chromebook and start to take notes.”

He feels like Chromebooks should be optional instead of mandatory.

“It’s not really for everyone, and it’s hard for the district to fit everyone’s needs,” he explained. “It shouldn’t be forced; we should have one if we want to.”

With the continuation of the program it allows for improvement within the program. From connection Canvas to the teachers’ grade books on eSchool to installing charging stations around the school and designing the school to benefit this new way of learning, the Ignite program is bound to grow and evolve.

The educational system is changing from a one-size-fits-all method into a more personalized learning experience with the guided help of teachers. Every person has a different opinion about the use of technology in learning and the installation of utilizing Canvas and the Chromebooks, but overall the benefit is able to be clearly seen.

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