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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



While students are just getting introduced to their devices, most teachers have had their Chromebooks since school ended in May.

Melin said he hopes teachers have had a chance to familiarize themselves with the devices and figure out how to bring them into the classrooms successfully.

But he said there’s more hands-on training coming. On Thursday, teachers will attend the Greater Clark Connected Conference, which will feature seminars on how to adjust classrooms in a 1:1 environment and bring in keynote speakers from around the country.

He also said teachers have more professional development days coming up on July 29-30 for more training on how to implement effective use of the Chromebooks in a classroom.

David Kahl, a music, choir and band teacher at Parkview Middle School, said he’s already worked on getting some lessons together for his students on day one.

“I’ve already developed some concepts for it,” Kahl said. “To know we’re able to do at least some things digitally, that’s going to save on a lot of paperwork for me.”

He said he’s got some programs his students will need to use on desktops. Since the Chromebook is largely web-based and relies on cloud storage — offsite memory space that can be accessed from anywhere — some of his programs require physical hard drives to run.

He also said learning how to digitize tests would take time, but he’s hopeful it won’t be too difficult.

Melin said while teachers will have to adjust to bringing a new tool into the classroom, the district will likely put together minimum-use requirements that they’ll have to follow.

He said to make sure the initiative is successful, teachers need to use them in the classroom as much as is applicable. Those requirements, he said, would likely be issued in mid-August.

Jeff Bowen, a sixth-grade science and social studies teacher, said there are resources available for teachers in every field on the Chromebooks, but he knows they won’t dominate classtime immediately.

“There’s astronomy and biology stuff out there, but as with anything new in a classroom setting, it’s going to take some time to integrate with that,” Bowen said. “But once that happens, I think it’s going to be fabulous.”

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