Tri-Village News

District will provide laptops to all high school students

Funded by '10 levy, computers will be doled out in August

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Grandview Heights High School students will be issued more than just textbooks beginning next school year.

Students will receive Internet-ready Chromebooks for use at home and school during their years at the high school.

They will receive the laptop computers in August as part of the district's 1:1 initiative.

The choice of Chromebooks was recommended by the district's technology committee.

The devices will be repurposed when students return them after graduation or when leaving the district.

"We started planning for this back in 2010," Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said. "It's an exciting time to see this come to fruition.

"It will truly impact the way our students learn" and better prepare them for college and careers, he said.

"There aren't many careers anymore that don't interact with technology," he said.

At college, it is now standard for students to have and use their own computer technology, and online courses are a commonplace part of a student's class schedule, O'Reilly said.

Teachers at the high school have been preparing for implementation of the 1:1 initiative and how to integrate the technology into their lessons, both in and out of the classroom, he said.

A chemistry teacher, for example, will be able to forward a video about safe handling of chemicals to students via the Chromebooks and students will be able to take an online safety test before stepping foot in the classroom, O'Reilly said.

"The teacher won't have to take the time in the classroom to go through the safety lessons," he said. "It allows for a much more efficient use of classroom time."

The Chromebooks will be ordered this spring and training will be offered for parents and students to familiarize them with the devices, O'Reilly said.

"A lot of it will be learning how to maintain the device," he said.

The Chromebooks were selected for the 1:1 initiative in part because of their cost and also because they were the most logical fit for the district's infrastructure, O'Reilly said.

The district will invest about $126,000 in the initiative, he said.

The project is possible thanks to the 2010 passage of a levy that included a continuing component for permanent improvements and technology upgrades, O'Reilly said.

Since then, the district has increased its use of technology, upped the capabilities of its infrastructure and improved its Wi-Fi network.

Grandview may someday expand the initiative into other grade levels, O'Reilly said.

"I think that would be a long-term goal," he said.

The high school will serve for the time being as a test case to make sure the initiative is implemented smoothly and works as beneficially as the district expects, O'Reilly said.

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