At the latest District 203 board meeting, administrators introduced details of their recommended three-year digital learning initiative.
52 teachers across 13 schools in the District piloted one of three technology devices, the Apple iPad, Google Chromebook and Windows Laptop, as part of the Digital Learning Initiative, which aims to develop and implement a high quality online and blended learning experience, to meet students’ diverse learning styles.
One of the teachers who used Chromebooks with students spoke about the benefits.
“At first it’s hard, the transition can be difficult because you’re really giving students a lot of control, but that can also be very empowering. It really allows the students to grow in ways that you may have not seen before and for me that was the most exciting part of being part of this digital pilot and having devices in my room,” said Joshua Louis, Teacher at Jefferson Junior High School.
Third grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary School, Jaime LaPrairie, shared a note written by one of her students who typically struggles with learning.
“The Chromebook helps me because sometimes I have trouble with reading, the Chromebook helps me by reading it out loud to me and I talk to the Chromebook and it types what I say. It makes me feel better because now I don’t have to worry about not doing it well or looking different,” said LaPrairie.
The plan is to issue Chromebooks to every high school student in the fall and to junior high school students in the second year. In the third year, they plan to give out Apple iPads to elementary school students as well.
The district will lease these devices, at a cost of $1.4 million in the first year, which includes professional learning for the teachers and device applications.
Technology fees for students will also be increasing, from $29 to $50 as the plan reaches each grade level.
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