Today NutKase is delighted to present the first in a three part series by Tracy Brown, an Instructional Support Teacher in Enumclaw, Washington.
What do you do when you want to give every student in your district a device to empower learning? How do you even get started? I have been lucky enough to see two device deployments launch from the ground up. Both deployments haven’t been perfect, but we listened and learned from our teachers and students everyday. I would like to share the most important elements of a successful deployment from my experiences.
My first experience began with a need for devices for the national Smarter Balanced Assessments. District leaders analyzed the Common Core Standards and felt that students needed practice time to bolster their ability to produce writing by thinking as they type. The decision was made to rollout Chromebook devices in grades 3 and 4 across the eight elementary schools. The following year this expanded to grades 5 as well as English and social studies content in the middle and high schools. When I left the district all devices were in carts; there was movement towards student take-home devices, but we were not there yet. Currently this district has carts in 2nd through 5th grades with take-home devices in grades 6-12.
My second experience began with a need to prepare all students to create, collaborate, communicate and solve problems. This particular district made the decision to start with a small group of teachers known as connected classroom teachers to help build momentum across content areas. From there we expanded the deployment of Chromebooks to all students in grades 8 through 10 with carts in grade 5. A small set of devices was also put in each kindergarten classrooms. Students in grades 8 through 10 take home their devices. The deployment expands next year to include take home devices for all students in grades 6-11 with carts in 5th grade and sets of devices in kindergarten and first grades. The goal is to deploy devices across our system so we can get to 1:1 faster than starting with one or two grade levels at a time.