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Instructional Technology

Through the One-To-One technology initiative, Richland School District has committed itself to ensuring every student has access to a digital device. This gives students and teachers new tools to create engaging lessons, better connect families and schools, and prepare students for the digital world they will enter upon graduation.

A four-year Technology Levy approved by voters in February 2018 will allow the district to provide Google Chromebooks to students and train teachers on how to use them in the classroom. The district will also implement a Digital Citizenship curriculum to give students and their parents resources for safe and responsible use of the devices and the Internet.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Why does the Richland School District believe that a One-To-One program is important?

The need for consistent student access to technology is a priority. Technology is mentioned in 78 Common Core state learning standards. In addition to the traditional view of literacy, our students must be information, media and visually literate. Constant access to technology allows for these important contemporary literacies to flourish in classrooms.

 

Is participation in the One-To-One program required? If so, why?

Richland School District has built an expectation that technology tools should form an essential part of our educational program. As a school switches to a 1:1 environment, teachers will move away from paper and pencil and rely more on technology-based tools for tasks as reading, writing and research. The cloud-based tools will mean many student assignments will require collaboration and your child’s team members will expect everyone complete their part of a project in a timely manner. Having a Chromebook at home reduces technical glitches and keeps your child focused on the work at hand.

 

Why Chromebooks?

Chromebooks represent a space in technology between mobile options such as tablets and laptops. A Chromebook needs little maintenance and is a web-based device so there is no need for downloading, installing or updating software. Students will require minimal technical support to use these devices.

 

Who owns these Chromebooks—the students or the school? What happens if my child breaks or loses his or her Chromebook?

Chromebooks issued as part of the 1:1 program are the property of the Richland School District; each student in middle school and high school will be issued a Chromebook by the school district and will have access to that device 24/7. Kindergarten and elementary students will have access to their devices during the school day. 

Students will have to adhere to district policies and agreements governing the use of technology. This includes any damage to the device. The district has insurance available for purchase for all Chromebook devices that will cover the following: screen damage, liquid immersion, theft (a police report must be filed), and mechanical issues. The insurance policy will not cover student loss of a Chromebook or intentional damage.

The district believes that an Internet-connected device will be a required resource for our students as they enroll in college and or enter the professional arena. With this belief in mind, the District believes that students should learn how to effectively manage a device. Students are responsible for the Chromebook’s general care and content accessed through the device.

 

Will the Richland School District supply my child with any Chromebook accessories, such as a protective case?

The school district will provide every student a protective case and charger.

 

How will my child be protected from objectionable internet content?

The district’s filtering software will apply both on and off campus. Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of their Chromebook at home.

 

My student is not interested in getting a Chromebook, do they have to have one?

Once a school goes to a 1:1 technology model, access to technology is no longer optional. Going forward the district will purchase fewer paper textbooks to use in the classroom and move toward digital curriculum and e-books in an effort to lighten the load in student backpacks, provide more current resources and reduce the use of paper. These steps can’t be taken as long as technology is optional to students.

For a list of 10 reasons your child should use technology as part of their classes, take a look at this great article:

10 Reasons Today's Students Need Technology in the Classroom

 

If a student already has his own Chromebook or laptop or device is it possible to use it instead of the school issued one?

While there are many different devices out there, the district has purchased a management license for all district-owned Chromebooks that allows it to ensure each student has the best learning tool available. This management tool allows us to:

  • The district and/or teachers can automatically install apps and extensions via the management tool resulting in less class time taken for students to manually install them.
  • Make sure that students are filtered appropriately for their grade level at all times. A student bringing in their own device is filtered with the most restrictive settings enabled - similar to a public Wi-Fi hotspot. That might not allow them to use the tools a teacher is expecting in the classroom.
  • Students must have a district owned Chromebook for state testing in the spring. We use the management tool to push the secure app needed and ensure compliance with state testing regulations.

When students use their own device and it breaks, it is quite possible that they might be without a device for two to three weeks while it is repaired. When they are using a district-issued Chromebook, they can receive a replacement in a very short time period and get them back to learning.

 

What if we don’t have Internet access at home?

If the cost of having Internet at home is an issue for your family, Charter offers a special program called Spectrum Internet Assist. You can find more information at  https://www.spectrum.com/browse/content/spectrum-internet-assist.html or by calling (844) 525-1574.

While Chromebooks do work best when they are connected to the Internet, all Google apps work offline and many Chrome Web apps can work offline as well. It is possible for students to install Chrome extensions that allow them to “save” Web pages for later reading. We will be continually working with teachers and students to help them work offline when needed.

There are also a number of places where free wireless Internet access is available around the community, including the Richland Public Library, coffee shops and restaurants.

 

What can my child do with technology that they can’t do with traditional paper and pencil?

Technology gives students quick feedback on what they are learning, empowers them to be agents of their own education, teaches important social skills and helps students explore the world in new ways.

Teachers using web-based tools can quickly find out how well students understand a new concept. Students can answer a few questions or solve a problem, submit it to the teacher online and the teacher instantly can see where students need extra help, reteaching, or are clear to go to the next topic. This instant feedback replaces traditional quizzes that were given on paper, graded by the teacher at night, and then brought back a day or two later.

Students become creators of knowledge content rather than just passive consumers with technology. They will now be able to create a video that compares and contrasts two characters in a book or play, stretching them to move beyond just the script writing. They might write a blog and ask for comments from their classmates or reach out to experts in a given field to help them hone their knowledge. Students who learn best visually might create an eye-catching infographic that summarizes their knowledge of a topic. A history buff could create a Google Map that pinpoints geographic locations such as Civil War battle sites with pictures and battle information that pops up in the map, or an interactive map of the Underground Railroad.

We live in a connected world. Businesses fully expect their employees to work well in teams and it is becoming more common to see those teams composed of people working from many different locations. Our students will leave school with a deep understanding of using technology to work collaboratively in a team to accomplish a task or complete a project.

Technology allows students to travel to virtually anywhere. They can use Google Street view to explore foreign cities and walk through the most famous museums in the world, examining art works and historical artifacts with microscopic vision. Teachers can host Google Hangouts with guest speakers and authors from anywhere in the world, allowing students to interact with them as if they were all in the same room. Students can use Google Maps to explore the surface of the moon and Mars or swim around the Great Barrier Reef any time or any day. Technology offers possibilities that were previously so expensive or dangerous that we would never have considered them.

 

Are students taught about appropriate use, searching and basic computer skills?

The Richland School District is in the process of implementing a Digital Citizenship curriculum which will cover the skills needed to properly use a digital device.  

 

Will there be repercussions as far as behavior with the computers, such as if students are not using them correctly at school?

Yes, current Board policy related to discipline and use of technology apply. There is a specific Chromebook agreement as well.

 

How often will the Chromebooks be used in the classroom?

It is not expected or encouraged for students to be on devices 6+ hours per day. Classroom teachers will determine when it is appropriate for students to use their devices in class.   

 

Is there insurance available for my student’s Chromebook?

Families of students in Grades 6 through 12 are strongly encouraged to purchase the annual 1:1 device insurance policy with a premium of $30 per year.  

 

What if I cannot afford to pay the annual insurance premium?

If a student and/or family is unable to pay the premium, he or she should speak with their building principal to discuss their situation and ask for a waiver.  

 

What happens if a parent does not purchase the insurance for the Chromebook device?

If a student is not enrolled in the student 1:1 device insurance program, and has not been approved for a waiver of the fee based upon the guidelines, that student and their family are subject to pay the repair costs or full replacement cost of a device lost or damaged beyond ordinary wear.

 

What does the insurance cover?

The insurance policy will cover repairs or replacement of damaged equipment resulting in normal use.  Students and/or parents will be financially responsible for any damages caused by intentional misuse. Students who intentionally misuse or abuse the equipment assigned can be subject to disciplinary action and/or fined for any needed repairs.  The annual premium covers the following for up to two incidents per year:

  • Key replacement
  • Keyboard, palm rest, touch pad replacement
  • Screen replacement
  • Accidental damage
  • Theft of device
  • Battery replacement
  • Charger replacement
  • Loaner device and insurance while student’s Chromebook is being repaired

 

Will my student’s personal information be accessible or used by Google or another company? 

No. The Richland School District does not provide any student personal information or data to Google or other outside companies, nor will Google be able to track student activity through the Chromebooks.

 

 

 

Videos

 

Video - RSD One-to-One Chromebook Initiative

 

Video - Canvas learning management system for middle schools and high schools