In August 2016, Grayslake Community High School District 127 issued Chromebooks to every freshman and sophomore student. District 127 also began reflecting on what skills are necessary for students to be competitive and successful in the 21st century workforce. A recent report on the “Most Important Employer Identified Competencies” include Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Teamwork and Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation, Leadership, Oral and Written Communication, and Self-Direction. In the years prior to the technology age, when basic facts and information were found only in the dusty spines of the public library or in the impressive mind of a classroom teacher, this type of instruction made more sense. Students had to come to school to find and remember that information. But now, when both basic facts and complex resources are available on any smartphone, at the touch of a button, new pedagogical approaches are required to develop these critical competencies. 1:1 Chromebook technology access has provided students one tool that allows students and teachers to experience Relevant, Engaging, Authentic Learning #D127GetsREAL. Here is what a few teachers and students have said about the 1:1 Chromebooks and learning experiences in D127:
Quotes from Teachers
Kristin Gulinski (GCHS): In Advanced Placement Human Geography, the 1:1 program allows students to use geo-spatial technologies to better analyze space and learn about the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth's surface. By providing students access to digital technologies like ArcGIS, they can develop a deeper understanding of the world and practice the application of spatial concepts. Using Chromebooks, students can examine human social organizations and environmental consequences to learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. Students can create meaningful projects to display their skills and content mastery with their Chromebooks.
Bryan Tylkowski (GCHS): I really appreciate having the access to chromebooks in my classroom. Last year I had to check out chromebook carts in order to do labs and would have to fight other science teachers to make sure my students have access. Now we do all our lab write ups for chemistry on google docs and the students are sure to have access inside and outside the classroom. We use our chromebooks almost every day for notes, checking answers to worksheets, online simulations, and lab reports.
Jason Doll (GCHS): I really enjoy the students all having chromebooks. I teach freshmen and they have really done a good job being responsible with them. The 1:1 chromebook touches allow students to contribute to the learning process by sharing their thoughts and ideas through realtimeboard during class. Not only does it allow the class to be collaborative, but since the students can work on completing the notes for the whole class it saves me time since I no longer have to be the one writing everything down.
Jason Janczak (GCHS): Being 1:1 gives us a lot more opportunity in the classroom and allows for more efficient use of classroom time. We do not need to transport students to and from a lab if we need to explore an online resource or opportunity – we can simply have the students get out their Chromebooks and get online quickly. It maximizes our class time and allows for greater opportunity for student learning.
Georgette Polychronos (GCHS):1:1 has allowed for the seamless operation of classroom procedures. It has been my experience that 1:1 has maximized the use class time, increased student engagement, and allowed me to hold students more accountable. Chromebooks meet students where they are at and I look forward to exploring more ways to enrich my students’ classroom experience with the use of technology .
Lauren Carranza (GCHS):As teachers on the first floor, it is super helpful to not have to check out the carts from upstairs and bring them down to our classrooms. The transitions from teacher to teacher were tricky if you did not have a free hour to take the chromebook cart where it needed to go during the five minute passing period. I love how my students all have their chromebooks on them! The majority of my students have enough battery by the end of the day!
Alex Mckenzie (GNHS):The 1:1 program has allowed me to easily integrate a variety of fun and engaging tech tools in order to formatively assess my students.
Molly Tomlinson (GNHS): 1:1 technology has encouraged my students and I to experience the learning process together. It has been both humbling and remarkable!
Patrick Green (GNHS): The 1:1 pilot has fundamentally transformed the American Studies curriculum. The class has become research-based; there is a research component to every unit as opposed to having one “research unit.” Additionally, composition has become authentically process focused. Students are able to make ongoing revisions to essays. Rather than in previous years just having a day to type in the computer lab, students can compose, revise and edit in front of the screen. Finally, I am able to ask more of the students, whereas in previous years I was barely able to expect a Works Cited page with a research paper, with technology, I can demand Annotated Bibliographies (a much more advanced product).
Jill Grunloh (GNHS): The 1-1 program allowed me to be able to do more projects in the classroom without the worry of making sure I reserved the chromebook cart. The 1-1 program also allowed me to expand my teaching techniques (not sure if that's the word I want to use) by using Go Formative, Kahoot, Quizlet, etc. These are programs I may not have ever tried if the students didn't have their own devices.
Julia Burkel (GNHS): It allows students to have independence and be in charge of their education. I truly feel we can begin doing activities in the classroom that will prepare them for the ever-changing, technology heavy world.
Brandon Boyd (GNHS):Passing out, collecting, managing, organizing and handing back papers use up precious minutes of class time that add to hours over the course of a year. By moving to a 1:1 program I’m able to begin phasing out physical paper and all of the management tasks associated with them so I can spend more time helping my students engage in learning.
Quotes from Students:
It has helped me be able to contact my teachers easier, I have access to the internet, and all of my docs very easily, and it helps when I have to turn something in online.
It gives me an easier more environmentally friendly way to submit work and connect with classmates on projects.
I think that it has helped a lot, especially doing research in class
It is much easier to access work while at school and home. It also eliminates the need for most of my textbooks as well.
I can check my grades often, and see schoology without thinking too much about it.
I have always had constant access to learning from anywhere. I have been less distracted because I do not have to use my home computer which has many games on it.
It's been easier to access information for classes, and helped me stay on track outside of school.
I'm faster at typing than I am at writing, so I tend to get more done