Following the ASCD/OverDrive survey on ebooks and digital content in U.S. education just reported, it’s interesting to note that several Illinois school districts appear to be introducing a one-Chromebook-per-pupil policy for high school students. Illinois School District 54 recently approved “the purchase of Chromebooks for 1:1 student use at the junior high school level.” Now the Chicago Tribune reports that the board of Grayslake Community High School District 127 has approved a similar program, standardizing on Chromebooks after years of comparative pilot trials, including iPads, smartphones, and bring-own-device schemes.
Illinois appears to be in the vanguard of U.S. digital learning initiatives, as instanced by similar programs dating back over a decade. Earlier implementations of the Chromebook program for high school kids include School District 203, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, which quoted that district’s CIO Roger Brunelle saying “the Chromebooks have now become part of everyday classroom supplies for our high school students.” At School District 2, meanwhile, the one-to-one Chromebook program “piloted in the 2013-2014 school year” and since fully implemented, “gives all students in grades 3 through 8 access to Chromebooks to use at school throughout each day. The one-to-one Chromebook program has been implemented to help facilitate collaboration and learning in the classroom. Integrating Chromebooks into the classroom helps to prepare students for success in a global, technology-rich learning and working environment.”
The recent ASCD/OverDrive survey found that 75 percent of educators surveyed were using laptops in their intiatives – the largest share of any device type. Presumably, Chromebooks are the laptop type in many of these cases. These kind of implementations also rather challenge skeptical comments that the ASCD/OverDrive survey is capturing the wishful thinking of educational administrators rather than teachers. If these devices are already in the classroom, for every high school student, it only makes sense to actually use them.
For further info on Chromebooks as e-reading devices in education, see here.