An increasing number of schools are purchasing Chromebooks for use in the classroom to connect students to the online world of information.
At Lakeview Middle School in Pajaro Valley school 700 Google Chromebooks have been distributed to its students, the first public school in Santa Cruz County to provide one-to-one, 24-7 access to computers.
Principal Ken Woods said the project is not about updating technology, but rather moving into the 21st century, where education doesn’t stop at the end of a teacher’s lecture or when the bell rings at the end of the day.
“It’s a different way of teaching, a more effective way of learning,” Woods said.
Chromebooks are small laptop computers designed to work mostly online in the Cloud. Teachers and students can use them to create and share documents, chat about assignments and conduct research on the Internet.
Sixth-graders received their Chromebooks on Monday, sitting quietly at tables in the school library, engrossed in learning how to set up virtual folders, get apps and access assignments. Seventh- and eighth-graders picked up theirs last week. Within a few hours, a student had reviewed an upcoming lesson plan about World War II and took the initiative to find and recommend a relevant video to his
teacher, Woods said.
“It helps students take learning as something that’s up to themselves, not just imparted by the teacher,” said Tim Landeck, Pajaro Valley Unified School District technology director.
Landeck said the approach fosters collaboration and project-based learning, key principles of Common Core, the new language arts and math standards adopted by 45 states, including California. While Lakeview’s the first to embrace it, he hopes it won’t be the last in the district or county.
“We hope (other schools) will see the success and they will prioritize the resources,” he said.
The Chromebooks cost $310 each, or more than $200,000 for the entire school. Lakeview used a state grant it received as a low-achieving school to cover most of the purchase. A districtwide school bond covered the rest.
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