Mass Customized Learning
What's the goal?
The Hamburg Area School District is excited to provide devices for all students to use in school. The 2010-2011 school year was used to pilot laptops for 9th graders. This allowed us to develop policies, troubleshoot technical issues, and plan for additional laptops. The program was then expanded to include 9th and 10th grades during the 2011-2012 school year. All students in grades 9-12 had the opportunity to receive a laptop at the start of the 2012-2013 school year as we fully implemented a 1:1 computing solution at the High School. Soon after, we expanded to the Middle School, supplying Chromebooks, and today, we supply iPad tablets for elementary students in grades K to 2, as well as Chromebooks for students in grades 3 to 5.
Why are we doing this?
We believe that a one-to-one device program will provide equal opportunity, continue the efforts of the Classrooms For the Future program, and help students develop the skills necessary for the 21st century. Today's students need to learn to work collaboratively, think critically, and use 21st-century technologies to be productive and efficient.
What's the plan?
In order to make sure we are successful in implementing this program, we know that there are many tasks to be completed. None of which can be accomplished overnight. To work out the logistics, we started with a pilot program in 9th grade during the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year. Laptops were gradually distributed to 9th graders each week. The 2011-2012 school year started with all 9th and 10th graders receiving a laptop. Finally, the full implementation of 1:1 for all (approximately) 800 students in grades 9-12 occurred in the 2012-2013 school year. We feel that this approach of phasing the program in overtime helped us make a smooth transition and ensure the success of one-to-one.
What equipment are we using?
Making sure that the technology would suit our needs was a critical piece in the planning. Today, we use a variety of hardware and software.
We use iPads, specifically in both elementary buildings for younger students, whilst the older students use Chromebooks throughout the district. In the High School, depending on coursework, we also have Windows devices for video editing, auto-CAD, and publications.
What should parents and students do?
Students and parents should discuss the responsibility that comes with having a laptop, as well as online etiquette. We will set expectations for use and care at school. It is suggested that parents also set expectations and guidelines for using the device at home.