News

Students help launch one-to-one Chromebook program

By Angie Mason, York Daily Record, Pa.
September 11th, 2015

One school’s students take on the heavy lifting — such as it is

chromebooks-studentsAs students filtered into the library at Susquehannock High School and sat down before new Chromebooks, help was just steps away — in the form of some of their classmates.

Students who are part of the school’s Tech Shed (short for student help desk) roamed among their peers as they logged into their devices for the first time. The tech helpers called out the details for login info and paused periodically for questions.

This year marks the first time every student at Susquehannock will receive a Chromebook for use at school and at home, and students have been involved in the process, from trying out devices to designing the rollout, which started Wednesday. Students visited the library in groups to receive their Chromebooks, log in and download some recommended apps.

“It’s busy,” said Will Mosko, a senior member of the Tech Shed, who said there were a few hiccups as students took control of their devices, but they were solved quickly. “It’s hard but I think it’s quite rewarding.”

The Southern York County School District is leasing the Chromebooks for four years at an annual cost of about $91 per device, including warranty, Google Chrome management console and protective cases, according to Wayne McCullough, chief operations manager.

As the district considered starting a 1:1 initiative, a small group of students piloted a few kinds of devices last year, said Sandy Lemmon, superintendent. They reported the pros and cons back to the administration.

“They live it,” said Kevin Molin, the school’s principal, so they’d have the best understanding of what is useful for them. They’ll continue to have input as they begin using the devices.

Students, who have a variety of technology interests, will staff the Tech Shed, in the corner of the library, during the day, so that anyone who has a problem can stop there for help.

Sophomore Aditya Kandala joined the team for the first year. He said that on Wednesday he helped with questions about rebooting, changing display settings like wallpaper and recommended apps like Quizlet and Duolingo.

He thinks every student having a Chromebook will make things easier — less paper to keep track of and lose.

Mosko, the senior, noted that more and more schools are moving in the 1:1 direction.

It’s “the future of schooling,” he said.

On Wednesday, students spent about 30 minutes getting their new devices set up. Then they rotated through two other sessions, including one where Molin explained some “do’s and don’t’s” related to caring for the Chromebooks and their responsibilities. Students also heard from Andy Shelow, technology integration specialist, who talked to them about digital citizenship to help them understand the “digital footprint” they leave on the web and the long-lasting presence it can have — good or bad.

[image via Kevin Jarett/Flickr]