Spaulding High School Will Go 1:1 With Chromebooks
Students in grades 9 – 12 will receive personal computers to assist in academic work, both at school and at home
As they begin the new school year and a new chapter in their education this August, every student entering Spaulding Hig
h School will be handed their own Chromebook computer for both home and in-school use. And according to Principal Brenda Waterhouse, they will keep that same computer throughout their years at Spaulding – and possibly beyond.
“It’s called one-to-one,” Waterhouse said, “and it means one computer for every student. It will help students become more engaged in their learning, and it will vastly improve their chances of succeeding in high school and moving on to a career or college after graduation.”
“In addition to providing students with the latest technology,” she said, “it will also level the playing field by providing equal access to learning for all students. Not every family in our system can afford to buy their students a personal computer.”
The initiative, she said, will also help keep Spaulding competitive with other Vermont schools that have already moved to 1:1 technology.
“As families move to or within the state, one of the first things they look at is the school system. As one of the larger schools in Vermont, Spaulding already has a lot to offer in terms of academics, athletics, and extra-curricular activities. Now, every student will have their own school-issued computer to use in class and at home. The learning advantages and opportunities are huge.”
Emmanuel Ajanma, Director of Technology and Information at the Barre Schools, is equally excited about the initiative.
“I think the advantages and benefits to students are tremendous,” Ajanma said, “and that’s always our first priority. But we also have to consider technology costs and expenses, and part of the appeal to me is the cost savings the district will realize under this plan. As it stands now, we have to outfit every classroom with computers and keep them updated year after year. But there are numerous classrooms that sit empty for some portion of the day, and those devices just sit there, unused. Our current system is not only less efficient, but requires more effort to keep up.”
“Our plan,” Waterhouse said, “is to issue new Chromebooks to Freshman, with the understanding they will keep those devices for the four years they’ll be attending Spaulding High School. Students in the upper grades will also get updated Chromebooks, running the same programs and technology, for the duration of their years at SHS. Students who wish to keep their Chromebook after graduation could do so simply by paying a nominal fee - which we have currently set at $10.”
“We’re obviously very excited about this,” she said, “and we’ll be contacting parents and students soon to schedule distribution of the devices. The usual rules and regulations around acceptable use will still apply, and the devices will be outfitted with filters to prevent students from visiting inappropriate sites on the Internet. But for us, the bottom line is clear: more engaged students, equal access to technology and learning, and a more competitive education for every student.”