1:1 Google Chromebooks in K-9th Grade Classrooms
Over the past 6 months, the East Providence School Department has quietly rolled out a 1:1 Google Chromebook initiative in all grades K-9. This project has had all hands on deck and many contributors have prioritized the initiative to see the project completed ahead of schedule. The outcome is a successful blended learning environment that impacts nearly 3,000 of our students and “provides our students the opportunity for blended learning all day long. All of the pieces are now in place for their success.” stated Chief Information Officer, Kelly Ahrens, who rolled out the technology implementation.
When asked about the big investment in our children and the district, School Committee President, Charles Tsonos said “This opportunity will open significant doors to the children of East Providence for years to come. Many, if not all, careers are touched by this technology in one way or another. Every tool on the toolbox is important. We are all providing the tools for a better future. In the school department, the administration, the teachers, all of the support staff, and the school committee are driving forward to give the East Providence student the best opportunities for their future. Of that aim, we are all of one mind.”
(Stacey Messier, Silver Spring 2nd Grade Teacher and Early Adopter)
Empowering our students was the goal and providing them with this advanced tool has given our teachers the opportunity for more time teaching to each individual student's needs. The initiative has 3 classroom technical coaches whose role is working with teachers and early adopters to provide them with technical assistance and the ability to optimize the Chromebooks in their classrooms. Teachers are able to digitize their curriculums but also have new opportunities for collaboration and sharing amongst them. Stacey Azevedo, on of our tech coaches, said that with the new Google classrooms installed on the Chromebooks, “the possibilities for learning are endless.”
Student engagement is of the utmost importance and the increased face to face time allows the teachers to assess each student personally, allowing the teacher the chance to change each student's learning climate and pace. Superintendent Katherine Crowley said "I am excited that we were able to complete this initiative of 1:1 ChromeBooks for our students. This initiative will foster greater student achievement in a highly technical world."
This district-wide effort supports education, teachers, and students and “is something that we’re really proud of. The work of teachers, coaches, and the IT team give the initiative the chance to move forward and we’re excited to see the possibilities for our students.” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sandra Forand.
Chromebooks in classrooms aren’t completely new to the district. In the past, each classroom had 6 chromebooks per classroom, but the addition of 3800 devices has enabled all students to actively participate daily. The East Providence Information Technology team has made the roll-out a priority by setting up the Chromebooks and getting each one registered. Information Services Manager, Carlos Valotto, said that “upon registration to the management console, we can now manage applications and policies without having to physically be in the building, giving us more time to focus on interactive technology in the classrooms.” The 1:1 project will continue over the next couple of years and the intention is to have a Chromebook for every East Providence student.
Special thanks to the entire team who made this a reality including The East Providence School Administration, Superintendent Katherine Crowley, Asst. Superintendent Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Superintendent Celeste Bowler, Director of Instructional Technology Rebekah Gendron, our School Committee Members Charles Tsonos, Joel Monteiro, Nate Cahoon, Jessica Beauchaine, Anthony Ferreira, IT Director Kelly Ahrens, Technology Coaches Stacey Azevedo, Tracy Mollock, and Jen Graham, IT project team IS Manager Carlos Valotto, Information Services Technician JL Sullivan and the entire IT Department, and Tony Feola and his staff for unloading trucks and quickly delivering the computers to the schools.