While there are countless long faces across the nation filled with the doom and gloom feeling that comes with going back to school each year, there are at least 110 students in Merton, Wisconsin that are all smiles.
Sixth graders from Merton Community School District will all start their school day with a brand new Chromebook. Even better, they get to hold on to them for three years to finish off Grade 8.
Tina Heizman, Director of Information Technology, Merton Community School District, writes: “They will be able to take them home and use the 3G capabilities if needed. With the implementation of the Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education, our goal is to increase critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity among students.”
Heizman took advantage of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction statewide agreement to use Google Apps for Education to launch Chromebooks in the classroom.
Heizman adds: “Giving students Chromebooks will keep them productive and allow my department to focus on helping students and staff, instead of dealing with hardware issues. Three years ago we gave each student in 5th through 8th grades a netbook, but login times have slowed significantly and hardware fails. Students become impatient and prefer to use their cell phones, which we’d like them to avoid for network security reasons.”
A quick 8-second boot-up time and the 8-hour battery charge available with the new Chromebooks will fix that, noted Heizman.
As the school year gets underway Heizman’s vision is “to have the devices be part of the natural classroom environment, available when needed, so learning can be the focus. Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education can do that for us.”