MCSD middle schoolers receive Chromebooks for home and school
Monday was a day that School of Discovery eighth-grader Alex Stroman and other middle school students will not forget.
The Marlboro County School District started its pilot 1:1 device program by providing Chromebooks for all sixth, seventh and eighth graders to use in class and at home.
"I think the Chromebooks are a really good tool for our school," Stroman said. "It will be a big help to us for different kinds of schoolwork and homework."
The Chromebook model for the pilot is the Dell Chromebook 11, which was specifically designed for education and meets guidelines for durability, ruggedness, and quality.
Stroman admitted he was nervous when he heard that students would receive the Chromebook and wondered what would happen if he dropped or broke it. "When we got them, I realized it was going to be good for us," he said. "It is a school tool but it is also teaching us how to be responsible. If they can trust us with Chromebooks, they could literally trust us with everything."
Ashley Taylor, principal at the School of Discovery, said she and teachers were really excited about the opportunity for students to be able to use the 1:1 technology.
"We are especially excited about the Google classroom component with the Chromebooks where our teachers can give students assignments," she said.
Students can turn in assignments and homework from home on their Chromebooks.
Taylor felt it would also give them the opportunity to do more research in the classrooms.
"Now the opportunities are endless for what we are going to be able to do with the Chromebooks here at the School of Discovery," she said.
Every student has a Google Drive account, where teachers can upload and share files with them.
Davida McCall, a technology curriculum specialist for the district, said in preparation for the rollout, a parents' survey was done at all the open houses along with training for teachers.
Students received a Chromebook, case and a charger. The devices must be charged at home before bringing them to school.
McCall said the vision of the district is for students to be lifelong learners along with being prepared for life after graduation to go into the workforce or to attend a two-year or four-year college.
"Bringing these devices into the classroom and home is to provide them opportunities to make preparations for after graduation," McCall said.
She added another reason for the pilot program is that eighth graders will head for high school next year.
"We want them to be ready for what is to come when they get to high school," McCall said. "We are very excited about this endeavor. We have done a lot but have a long way to go."
Superintendent Dr. Gregory McCord felt it was an exciting moment because the district was bringing students to the same level of playing field as other students across the state.
"We are working hard to make sure we give our kids every competitive advantage they could possibly have," he said.
The goal, if funding is in place, is to roll out the Chromebooks to ninth, 10th and 11th graders in January.