Middle school students at West Central School Corp. will be going to one-to-one technology this school year. This is the first time one-to-one has been implemented for the corporation.
Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will each have a Chromebook available to them, Superintendent Charles Mellon said. There will also be shared Chromebook carts for fourth- and fifth-graders and and an iPad cart for kindergarten.
In preparation for the students arrival, Aug. 14, technology training has been offered to teachers. Rob Evans, IT director, and Kris Aschbrenner, assistant technology director, updated the school board on the technology, training at the corporation’s school board meeting Thursday.
Teachers had the opportunity to attend training sessions in June. They were open to all teachers, but were directed toward middle school teachers. There were eight sessions and up to 20 users per training session, Aschbrenner said.
“We’ll have an initial meeting with students and go over rules, regulations at the beginning of the school year, Aschbrenner said. “We’ll also add training for teachers who might have missed the first round of training.”
The implementation of the one-to-one technology and Chromebook, iPad carts is a part of a two-year plan, Mellon said. Over two years, school administrators plan to add Chromebooks and continue to train the staff. Eventually they’ll add one-to-one technology to high school and elementary ages. The original purchase is more than $200,000 and is being funded with the capital projects fund, Mellon said.
Middle school students were chosen because they are the smallest group with only three grade levels, Mellon said. The students will be able to get acclimated to the system and have an idea of how things work before making it available to everyone, Aschbrenner said.
“From my stand point, the students are growing up in this era of technology,” Aschbrenner said. “It’s a good idea to embrace it and it gives them the ability to do research and have ability to branch out.”
The idea is students and teachers will be able to get used to the items, understand them and be there to help others, Mellon said.
“There is a learning curve for both teachers and students, but I think it will go over well,” Aschbrenner said. “The teachers I’ve talked to see the benefits of technology. It should go smoothly.”
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.