London middle-schoolers will get to take laptops home

(Posted Dec. 15, 2016)

By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer

In early 2017, London City Schools will launch a pilot program called the One-to-One Chromebook Initiative.

“The program will initially outfit sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders with Google laptops that they will use throughout the remainder of the school year,” said Dillian Shumaker, director of technology, at the Dec. 13 London school board meeting.

Currently, students us the laptops only during school hours and cannot take them home. The new program will allow them to take the computers home so they always have access to the Internet to complete homework assignments.

“Last year we did a survey and found that while a majority of kids in the district have Internet access, some students don’t have their own computer at home and share a computer with other family members,” Shumaker said. “We thought this would be a great solution to ensure all kids have computer devices at home so they can complete their assignments.”

In the 2017-2018 school year, the district plans to expand the program to high school students. During the second half of the 2016-2017 school year, they will monitor how the program works so they can make necessary changes before introducing it to high school students.

“Some of the things we will be looking at are how to make sure students charge their computers before they come to school, how to handle damage to the computers and ensuring students bring their laptops to school each day,” Shumaker said. “We also will have security features where we can block students from visiting certain websites and monitor what sites they visit on these computers.”

In other news, the district kicked off its annual district survey on Dec. 8. The survey is available for completion until Dec. 20.

“This survey is very important because it is our chance to get insightful feedback from parents and caregivers,” said Dr. Lou Kramer, superintendent. “We want to make sure parents, caregivers and students have a positive user experience in our district, so this survey helps us understand what things we are doing well and what things we can improve on.”

According to Kramer, last year’s survey proved very fruitful and provided insight that inspired the One-to-One Chromebook Initiative.

Paper copies of the survey were given to students to take home. The survey also can be completed online at london.k12.oh.us/.

The results will be announced in early 2017.

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