During the 2014-2015 school year, the East Grand School District undertook an ambitious project. With the assistance of our community, and generous donations from many organizations and private parties, we embarked on an initiative to provide an electronic device to every student, a 1:1 initiative. Convinced by numerous studies and empirical evidence, our district was determined to provide our students with the tools required to gain essential 21st Century Skills.
In preparation for the launch, EGSD tripled the internet bandwidth to the Granby campus and installed additional wireless access points in every building. Prior to distributing Chromebooks to each of our EGMS middle school students, parents and students attended Chromebook Bootcamps to learn about the expectations and procedures involved in this project. They also attended device basic training.
Once devices were issued, the changes were immediate. Students took to the new style of learning like fish to water. It is now the norm to see students working on posters in the commons with Chromebooks at the ready to research content, conducting experiments in science and recording results electronically, reading on their devices while they prepare presentations and reports in another tab, recording artist statements to scan with QR codes for art shows.
"I have never loved a technology product like I love Google Classroom! I don't have to worry about students losing anything because it's all right there. And, I can send out assignments to multiple classes at the same time - it's so easy, it really changed my life!" -Rebecca Nance, Drama Teacher
Students can now collaborate on projects and use digital tools to learn any time, any where. Teachers can differentiate more easily and use online resources to reenforce concepts and lessons.
"With Chromebooks, I can use Newsela for my current events and set the reading level to 4th grade for one student and 12th grade for another. They can both be working on the same assignment but at their level. For my own son using the online Algebra curriculum, the video tutorials are fantastic - Chromebooks have made a big difference."
- Abby Loberg, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Only time will tell if those changes will meet the program's goals of improving student achievement, engagement, behavior, attendance and developing necessary 21st Century skills. But EGSD is optimistically preparing for the roll-out to Middle Park High School students in the fall.