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July 23, 2013

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Greater Clark’s Chromebook rollout will put more than 8,000 computers in the hands of its students

JEFFERSONVILLE — It’s not a notebook, textbook or even a library book, but every student in 10 grade levels will have one in their backpacks in Greater Clark County Schools this year.

The district distributed Samsung Chromebooks, Google-based laptops that rely heavily on wireless Internet services, beginning last week. The district is the first in Clark and Floyd counties to have such a wide rollout of a 1:1 computing initiative.

COME AND GET ‘EM

Following an Apple-esque presentation and filling out paperwork at Monday’s distribution at Jeffersonville High School, parents and students picked up the devices they’ll use in classrooms for the entire school year.

Michelle Metzing, a cafeteria manager at Northaven Elementary School, brought her son in to pick up his computer. She said being a parent in the district and working in one of its schools makes her think the whole idea is going to benefit students, parents and teachers.

“Kids are going to love it,” Metzing said. “I can’t tell you how many times kids come up and tell me they wish [teachers would] let them do their homework on a computer.”

Brett Clark, director of technology, said by the end of Monday, he expected to have 3,500 Chromebooks in the hands of students.

He said though huge volumes of parents and students have attended the distributions, sat through the presentations and filled the school hallways, the whole process has been smooth so far.

“I had a parent stop in after a presentation at Charlestown [on Thursday] and say it was the best school presentation they’d ever seen,” Clark said. “I’ve really been proud of the people working on this. We just have asked folks to trust in the people and the process.”

Superintendent Andrew Melin said there have been few issues in getting the devices to students. He said there have been a couple of instances where the Chromebooks weren’t set up for the district properly, but they were quickly replaced and sent off for work.

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