1:1 Personalized Learning Initiative
The Ross Local School District is dedicated to the preparation of students for a global workforce that will require 21st century skills. To help accomplish this goal, we applied for and received a Straight A Fund grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Over the next several years, teaching and learning will be transformed through student utilization of digital resources and 1:1 digital devices to provide a more personalized learning experience. Formative assessments will be used by teachers to select resources and activities based on students' identified needs, thus allowing all students to meet or exceed grade level standards and become college and career ready.
This 1:1 program (one device for each student) began in Winter 2015. Grant funding provided every fifth through twelfth grade student and teacher with a loaner Chromebook to use during the school day and and at home. In addition, grant funds will allow us to implement Schoology, a learning management system, as a framework to handle all aspects of the learning process, and icurio, an online learning resource library that differentiates resources. These digital tools will allow all students to interact and collaborate with others and create authentic products so that they are participating in activities that mirror the real world.
Following the expenditure of the grant funds, this initiative will be sustained through major reductions in district spending through the replacement of print resources. Besides a reduction in textbook costs, we also anticipate a reduction in paper usage and copier and printer costs. Since every student will have a device, the district will no longer spend funds for general use computer labs.
The Chromebook is a new, faster computer with everything built-in. The Ross School District chose Chromebooks for this initiative because they have a full keyboard, update automatically and will integrate seamlessly with our Google Apps for Education domain. Google Apps allow students to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, drawings and calendars that can be shared with each other and their teachers. Free Chromebook apps provide additional tools, including adaptive software. The protective cases affix to the Chromebook and will always be on to keep it secure during use at school and home.
Chromebooks are great devices for students. They meet modern curriculum needs, are simple to use, boot up in seconds, have long battery lives and are light to carry. They work perfectly with Google and other digital resources that we have been using for the past several years. They also support flexible instruction for students. Teachers are better positioned to differentiate instruction and provide a variety of material types for students to learn from. For example, teachers can provide articles, videos and options for text to be read aloud to accommodate different learning styles and needs that students can now access from a Chromebook.
Chromebooks are also a great choice from a support perspective. They can be supported through a central, cloud-based Google admin console for user settings, installation of apps, and security. Chromebooks update themselves each time they are shut down. Users always have the latest and greatest version and there is no need for manual downloads and upgrades.
A wide variety of apps are available and can be installed on Chromebooks through the Chrome Web App Store by district technology staff. Approved educational apps are available for students to install through our customized Ross Rams Apps store and can also be automatically added to student devices. Students will have access to install pre-approved, educational apps that have been added to the Ross Rams Apps store from district curriculum and technology staff.
In addition to Chromebooks students will also be using a variety of digital tools and resources. Each subject/course will have access to different content resources. All 5-12 students will have access to the following 3 tools:
Learning Management System: Schoology