6th Grade Chromebook Pilot Program

6th Grade Chromebook Pilot Program
Posted on 01/14/2020
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Indian Lake Middle School sixth graders are using Chromebooks assigned to each student, to boost their book smarts this year. 

ILMS Co-Principal Erin Miller explains that the sixth grade teaching team wrote and received a competitive intra-district grant to provide a Chromebook for each sixth grader this school year. 

Miller explains, “Through this grant, the team committed to integrating technology into their curriculum, collecting data about the pilot's success, and attending training to continue to advance their skills to provide technology supported learning opportunities for students which we hope they can share with other teachers in the future.” 

Students were assigned their own Chromebook in the fall and teachers say they use them in nearly every class, everyday. 

Social Studies and Science teacher Nick Tucci say he is enjoying the one to one experience. 

“I use the Chromebooks to keep a daily journal with our lesson starters. I use them as a resource tool for students to access additional information over a science or social studies topic.  I use google classroom quite often to post assignments, tests, resource materials, and post videos to watch to enhance learning.  The biggest advantage I see, in social studies especially, is the ability to access images and videos to bring to life many of the historical lessons we read and discuss.”

Math and science teacher Christina Fullerton explains that after her daily instruction, students are able to practice skills with online learning tools like IXL, Edu-lastics and Legends of Learning, all based on content standards. In addition, she can easily see which students are mastering concepts or not. 

Fullerton says, “It allows me to get a lot of different types of instruction at once. And if someone’s struggling, their work will turn red on my screen, so I can see in real time that he or she needs additional instruction whether or not they raise a hand for help.”

Because ILMS students are not permitted to have their phones or other personal devices in class, there could be the temptation to go somewhere on the internet that they shouldn’t. However, Indian Lake Technology Director Ron Borgerding explains that in addition to the use of firewalls, the district uses a program known as Go Guardian to monitor each tab a student opens on the devices. 

Indian Lake administrators hope to use the data collected this year to determine if they will expand the program so that each student in grades 5-12 has a device specifically assigned for their use. 

Technology Coordinator Ron Borgerding says students at Indian Lake have excellent access to technology. Miller says school leaders are still discussing if these particular Chromebooks will follow the sixth graders into seventh grade or stay for next year’s sixth graders. A decision will be made before the end of the year.