When speaking with Andrew Wallace, Director of Technology, South Portland Maine Schools, two classic marketing slogans come to mind: “Think Different” and “Just Do It.”
Whether it is getting Chromebooks and hotspots to students in need, supporting faculty in the move to remote learning, or just giving students a sense of comfort, he and his district, which includes a pre-k center, five elementary schools, two middle schools, and South Portland High School, are making up new rules as they go along in this pandemic era. Below are some highlights.
eSN: Maine has always been at the forefront of the 1-to-1 movement so can we assume that the transition to remote wasn’t too painful?
AW: We’ve been doing 1-to-1 in Maine since 2003 at a couple of grade levels. And most school districts in Maine expanded it upward from grades seven through 12. And then a lot of them are now slowly creeping down through the elementary schools. So in my district, we’ve been 1-to-1 with iPads, grades six through 12 since the iPad came out—we were one of the first iPad 1-to-1 schools. And then we have been backfilling with Chromebooks that stay in the classroom. So we felt pretty good.