Monday, 11 May 2015

Chromebook Pilot Reflection

Almost nine months ago the school district that I work for began a Chromebook pilot initiative. I was fortunate enough to facilitate the process at my school. The initiative saw nearly 200 Chromebooks being placed into the hands of grade seven students and their teachers. Now as the school year quickly draws to an end, we are evaluating and reflecting on the initiative.
Part of the review process was giving a presentation to our school board of trustees. Myself, along with a teacher and central office personnel  met with the Board to report our summary. I am thankful to work in a school district where relationships with central office and trustees are professional yet open and welcoming. Our presentation included data through surveys, anecdotal observations and personal opinion from our three different roles. Surveys were administered to students and teachers and the results clearly indicate that students feel not only more engaged with a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks, but also feel that Chromebooks are important to learning and are easy and exciting to use. Teachers commented that they felt their teaching performance improved and important components such as immediate feedback and assessment were improved. Transitioning away from computer labs teachers also expressed a feeling of freedom they had never felt before in terms of accessing technology. Anecdotal observations saw students engaged as well as taking ownership and responsibility for devices. Of the 200 Chromebooks we rolled out in September only four issues arose in terms of mismanagement or abuse. Compared to the maintenance and mistreatment of our traditional computer labs there is no comparison.
We still have a long way to go on our journey and  eventual goal of becoming a BYOD school with meaningfully integrated technology, but I am very proud of how far we've come in a relatively short time. As a leader in the school my most important role as I see it is to support teachers and remove barriers along the way. Next year our initiative will double in size to include our grade eight teachers and staff. I look forward to this next part of the journey, both the challenges and the rewards.

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