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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Plans under way for new year of Chromebook technology in schools | Chicago Tribune

"Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204 will hold sessions with parents to make sure they know what to expect when their children are issued Chromebooks this fall." reports Suzanne Baker, Writer.

Students at Naperville Central High School work on a math problem on their computers. Starting this fall, every students from second grade through high school will be issued a Chromebook laptop as part of Naperville District 203’s digital learning initiative.
Photo: Alicia Fabbre/Naperville Sun

Parental involvement is critical to the success of one-to-one technology programs, officials said.

Indian Prairie parent Kathy Luczynski, mother of Fischer Middle School and Waubonsie Valley High School students, said she's seen the benefits of students receiving the laptop computers.

Her daughter received a Chromebook as a seventh-grader during the first phase of the one-to-one rollout that started last year in District 204, Luczynski said. She also participated in the pilot program as a sixth-grader the year before.

The biggest advantage of the computers was how it leveled the playing field in the classroom, she said.

"We're reaching those kids who don't have technology at home. Everyone is on the same page," she said.

Luczynski said teachers also can tailor assignments to adjust for where they are on the learning spectrum.

She encourages parents to take part in informational programs offered by their child's school or parent-teacher group at which administrators, tech people and teachers will be available to answer questions, she said.

"We are all a team and we need to work together," Luczynski said. "There's something available at every school. They really do a nice job communicating."

A lot of parents need reassurances as to what happens if the Chromebook is lost, stolen, broken or isn't charged it in addition to explaining why parents can't purchase what they might deem a better device, she said.

In Naperville District 203, a series of September sessions focusing on digital citizenship and balancing life in the age of technology, led by speaker Devorah Heitner of Raising Digital Natives, are planned.

This fall, District 203 will enter the last phase of its three-year rollout to put a digital device in the hands of nearly every student in the district.

More than 18,000 District 203 students and teachers in second through 12th grade will be issued a Chromebook and kindergarteners and first-graders will share iPads on a two-to-one basis.

Source: Chicago Tribune