• Why does Holland Township School District believe that a 1:1 program is important?

    The need for consistent access to information is a priority. Technology is a key component of the  Common Core standards. Vital to achieving expectations established by the Common Core is for students to be literate by 21st Century standards. In addition to the traditional view of literacy our students must be information, media and visually literate. Constant access allows for these important contemporary literacies to flourish in classrooms.

    Why Chromebooks?

    Chromebooks represent a step forward in technology.  The Chromebook needs little, if any maintenance. It is a completely web based device with no need for downloading or installing updates to programs. The way a Chromebook operates reduces the need for technical support. The Chromebook battery lasts longer than the length of the school day and the device boots up in seconds to begin working, reducing the amount of learning time lost with other styles of device. Student work on the Chromebook automatically saves to the cloud and in particular the Google cloud. This makes it ideal considering HTSD is a Google Apps school district.

    How has Holland Township School prepared for this initiative?

    For several years HTS has structured professional development around the effective integration of technology. Teachers have received training on a variety of topics including LMS platforms, Google Apps for Education and integrating technology in the classroom.  HTS has also strengthened its wireless infrastructure over the past several years in order to accommodate a 1:1 program.

    How did we get the funds for this initiative?

    The district’s 1:1 initiative is being funded through the technology budget with additional funding generously provided by Holland Township PTO.

    Who owns these Chromebooks—the students or the school? What happens if my child breaks or loses his or her Chromebook?

    Chromebooks that are issued as part of the 1:1 program are the property of the Holland Township School District. However, each 6th – 8th grade student and teacher will be issued a Chromebook by the school district and will have access to that device 24/7. Stakeholders will have to adhere to Holland Township School District’s policies governing the use of technology. This also includes potential damage. The District has purchased insurance for all Chromebook devices. Insurance will cover the following: screen damage, liquid immersion, theft (A Police report must be filed), and mechanical issues. However, the insurance will not cover student loss of a Chromebook.  The District will be responsible for purchasing apps and e-materials. Through the Google Apps dashboard applications and system updates will be pushed out to student devices.

    The Holland Township School District believes that an Internet connected device is a required resource for our students as they attend high school, enroll in college, and ultimately enter the professional arena. With this belief in mind, the District believes that students should learn how to effectively manage such a device. Students are responsible for the Chromebook’s general care and all content accessed through the device.

    Who is responsible for updating the device (software and applications)?

    The Chromebook operating system, Chrome OS, updates itself automatically. Students do not need to manually update their Chromebooks. Chromebooks use the principle of “defense in depth” to provide multiple layers of protection against viruses and malware, including data encryption and verified boot. By logging in with their school managed Google account Chromebooks seamlessly integrate with the Google Apps for Education suite of productivity and collaboration tools. This suite includes Google Docs (word processing), Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, and Forms. Students are responsible for the web apps and extensions they install on their Chromebooks. Inappropriate material will result in disciplinary action.

    Will HTS supply my child with any Chromebook accessories?

    The school will provide a charger for all students.  Devices should be fully charged at home to allow for effective use of the Chromebook at school.

    Holland School does not provide students with cases for Chromebooks.  Inexpensive sleeves can be purchased online if students are concerned about damage on the bus, etc.

    In what ways will Chromebooks be used in the classroom?

    It will be up to each member of the HTS faculty to determine how to incorporate Chromebooks into his or her curriculum. All teachers associated with the 6th – 8th grade will participate in an initial Chromebook orientation session and will receive ongoing training. Even though each instructor has discretion over the ways in which they will implement Chromebooks there are a core set of outcomes connected to the Chromebook initiative posted on the school’s website.

    What training and/or support will my child receive?

    During the roll-out, students will receive training on appropriate use and technical capabilities, along with their Chromebook. In particular, there will be training on how to access the Google Apps suite.

    As a parent, what kinds of limits should I set on my child’s “screen time”? How does the Chromebook affect my rules at home?

    We hope that our 1:1 Chromebook program will help students learn and maintain good digital habits that will last a lifetime. Any rules that you have about computer use or Internet access should apply equally to your child’s Chromebook use. However, please keep in mind that more class content will be digitized and accessed via the Chromebook. This may require students to extend their screen time to meet course requirements.

    Will there be Internet filters on the Chromebooks? How will these work when my child has to do research for projects or assignments on the Internet at home?

    The Chromebook initiative is a joint partnership between the school, students, and their parents. The devices will be subject to the same Acceptable Use Policy restrictions and discipline procedures applied to all other technology infractions. The school’s infrastructure filters inappropriate content. At home, Chromebooks will be subject to the same filtering rules that are in place at school.  These rules prevent access to sites that are of an inappropriate nature.  That being said, we also stronly encourage parents to work together with their children to monitor the access to inappropriate content and to provide their own filtering process if needed.  It is also important to discuss the very serious concept of Cyber Bullying.  Students have attended assemblies to learn more about the topic of cyber bullying.  This training will continue with Dr. Yard the first week of school to stress the importance of using the Chromebooks for positive, educational communication only.

    What if I still have questions?

    If you still have questions…

    • Visit the Chromebook page on the district website for further information such as announcements, FAQs, tutorials, etc.
    • View the virtual Chromebook training material on the website.
    • Maintain communication with your child or children about what they are currently working in their classes.
    • Contact Jason Kries, Educational Technology Coordinator, at jkries@hollandschool.org