In an effort to further infuse technology into the curricula, the Hopatcong Borough School District has implemented a 1:1 Chromebook initiative for all students in grades four through twelve. The purchase of additional Chromebooks for students in grade three is already in progress. District faculty members assigned to these grades have also received a Chromebook and training sessions to become familiar with resources and programs that are now more easily available electronically. Students and staff will have access to their Chromebooks around the clock and are permitted to use the devices outside of school.
With access to a Chromebook and the ability to connect via a wireless environment, students and teachers will actively participate in the utilization of media and social networks and be engaged in problem-based learning incorporating arts infusion. The devices will enable more students to have access to technology and the supporting resources, eliminating the digital divide. Chromebooks are supported by the Google platform. Students were provided with a district email with a Google domain during the 2015-2016 school year while district employees have been utilizing district issued Gmail accounts for several years.
Many teachers have switched to using Google Classroom to manage assignments and engage students in interactive learning. Teachers will be able to differentiate instruction more effectively and proactively based on student need.
Teacher and administrator Todd Jensen stated, “The teachers as well as the students have taken on this initiative with such a strong desire to learn and are having fun along the way.”
Both students and staff were excited to be the recipients of the devices. Students took to posting their gratitude on social media, thanking the district for providing the devices.
Jensen said, “It is amazing walking through the halls and seeing Chromebooks open in all the classrooms. What is even more amazing is when I enter the rooms and I’m not even noticed because the students are so engaged.”