I’ve had the benefit of working with teachers and students using Chromebooks since May 2011 when Google provided a pre-release beta set of thirty CR 48 devices to the district where I served as director of instructional technology. As the Chromebook platform matured, an increasing number of districts recognized the power and benefits of a large scale deployment and I left my tenured position as a central administrator to lead the Emerging Technology Service at the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center (LHRIC). This service provides districts with a comprehensive technology path for their students and teachers, using cost effective tools and services.
This past spring, working in both the Bronxville and Tuckahoe school districts, I’ve witnessed the beginnings of a powerful transition that focuses on student centered learning and pervasive availability to technology.
In Bronxville, the Education Foundation has committed more than $170,000 to purchase Chromebooks and carts for grades 3-12, and the district is replacing its existing wireless network with an 802.11AC ubiquitous wireless network capable of handling the expected bandwidth demands of the students. All teachers and administrators have participated in professional development opportunities, and the district has committed to supporting their learning through the 2014/15 school year. Working through the LHRIC’s Emerging Technologies Service, a Google certified trainer with at least ten years of classroom experience and administrative certification will be on-site for at least two days per week.
In Tuckahoe, the district piloted Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks during the past school year. This September will mark the beginning of a new era for students in the district, as the “Technology for All” initiative is implemented. This initiative puts a Chromebook in the hands of every student in grades 6-12 and a cart of Chromebooks in each third, fourth, and fifth grade classroom. Like Bronxville, Tuckahoe will also support its teachers and students with support from the LHRIC’s Emerging Technologies Service.
Informed educational vision coupled with a powerful new regional service will benefit countless teachers and transform what it means to be a student in Bronxville and Tuckahoe for years to come. I look forward to working with other districts in the region as the synergy of such collaborations becomes increasingly evident.