Supporting Students, Teachers, and Parents – Middle Level Chromebooks

This summer has been a whirlwind of professional learning and growing, but also has become a reflective and creative time for developing a systems support approach for the enlarging of our 1-1 laptop (Liberty L.E.A.D.S.) program.

At the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year, after all of the data had been diced and sliced for the elementary and middle level pilots, a recommendation was given to the Executive Leadership Team and an official determination landed that we would be moving to Chromebooks for Grades 3-7 and MacBook Airs for Grade 8-12.

Our pilot and leadership teams looked at the rollout from the 2013-2014 MacBook at the High School level (Grades 9-12), physically and virtually visited other 1-1 schools across the country, and identified Instructional Technology as one of the two LPS District goals that were used to craft this year’s PD plan for individual buildings to support teachers moving in a digital direction.

This left two groups without a large amount of support:  students and parents. Fast forward three months and you will find the first iteration of our middle level student (LEADS) website.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 2.19.54 PM

Here are a few site highlights:

  • Homepage – fast links to schools, important websites, and “Did you know” segment written by teachers for students to share tips, tricks, tools, and digital citizenship thoughts. This area will change weekly once school is in session.
  • Student device care and training – content was developed by pilot teachers who used Chromebooks during the 2014 Spring LEADS project.
  • Digital Tools and Google Tools – to help develop choice for student voice. Digital tools on these sites are free, have been reliable, and are used throughout the District.
  • Digital Citizenship will provide LPS required student training as well as optional resources.
  • Parent resources include District FAQ, insurance information, and LEADS video segments coming soon.

We know that sites are only useful when they are visited.  In order to assist in generating traffic, we have included the link to the site in school to home correspondence.  We are hoping that as the Chromebooks come home with students and parents sitting down and learning together using the site for support.

Students will also have the website as a tab on their Chrome browser that will automatically appear reducing the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.

We did request feedback along the way, and boy did we receive it (almost 100% positive) from parents, teachers, administrators, Board members, and outside Ed Tech Guru friends. This is the form sent out to generate conversation and solicit feedback for content and design.

As mentioned above, this is the FIRST iteration that will take us into student laptop deployment on Monday, August 18 for students in Grades 6-7. We did decide to utilize a full day for training where we have broken up learning for each class hour. We know that this work will never truly be ‘final’ and that this project will continue to be a work in progress. So as we move through the year, there will be changes as we Learn – Use – Grow together! Perhaps YOU will choose to be part of this process by providing us positive feedback for growth!

Middle Level LEADS Chromebook – Student Website

Teacher Lesson Plans – August 18, 2014

A special THANK YOU goes out to the LEADS Team:

Trey Katzer, Director of Technology
Middle Level Principals:  Dan Weakly-LMS, Scott Carr-HMS, Jill Mullen-SVMS, Julie Moore-DMS.
Middle Level eLEADS – building teacher leaders in technology and innovation
2013-2014 Chromebook and iPad Pilot Teachers
Blending Learning Coaches – Scott Heeke and Amy Thornburg

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