To prepare middle school students for learning in the technology age for both college and their future, BCPS students in grades 6-8 are receiving Chromebooks for the 2017-2018 school year.
Chromebooks are simply laptops that connect wirelessly to the Internet and used mainly web based applications including Google Classroom.
District Technology Coordinator Jim Jackson described the value of adding more grades.
“We view this as a tool to increase engagement for students within the learning process,” he said. “Chromebooks will also increase 21st Century Learning Skills, enhance learning and improve communications, increase student ownership of their learning and the learning process and streamline processes for teachers, increase productivity and organization. We want to prepare our students to become better digital citizens. This involves topics such as appropriate use of email, texting and social media.”
Students from sixth grade through their senior year will be required to get a ‘Digital Driver’s License’ prior to August 25th. Students can start the DDL coursework once they receive their Chromebook. The coursework will require approximately three hours to complete prior to the beginning of school.
The annual technology fee of $35.00 will be due by all students receiving Chromebooks at the deployment and by returning students who received Chromebooks last year.
This fee covers repairs to Chromebooks that are out of warranty, internet filtering software for students while away from campus, instructional software and apps, shipping costs for repairs and other expenses related to maintaining over 7,000 devices.
Jackson said screen damage and other accidental damage that is normally not covered by a manufacturer warranty is NOT covered by the district and is the responsibility of the parent or student when damage occurs.
Parents that want to purchase a Chromebook or laptop for their child, rather than using the district provided device, can choose this option and will not be required to pay the $35. “Keep in mind that we cannot offer any technical support for personally owned devices, and some apps will need to be downloaded to the personally owned device,” Jackson advised. “If you want to buy a Chromebook on your own, we recommend 4 GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) and a 16 GB Solid State Drive (SSD).”
The deployment dates are as follows, and middle schools will go to their feeder high schools:
10 AM to 7 PM
Jackson encourages parents to review the Technology Responsible Use Expectations (TRUE) document prior to picking up the Chromebook on deployment dates. This document will outline the expectations of students using and caring for, the Chromebooks.
The TRUE document can be found on the district website at http://www.bullittschools.org/Content2/importantforms and outlines goals for students, responsible use by students, fees, and repair costs for damages.
More information on digital Citizenship can be found at this link http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html.