Back to School: Schools give tablets to each student
WEST WARWICK, R.I. —
At Greenbush Elementary School in West Warwick an aging chalkboard hides behind a projector screen displaying a Google document.
It's a sign of the technological time these students are learning in -- the entire West Warwick school district is now 1-to-1 with Google Chromebooks, each student has their own tablet device.
"I think they're really comfortable with the technology, they use a lot of technology outside of school," said Greenbush Elementary teacher Chris Allen.
Allen says the transition has been flawless, although he admits some of his kids are savvier with the devices than he is.
"I know just enough to get by. My students every day will teach me something new," he said.
The tablets are a $600,000 expense that will be paid off over the next three years with federal, state, and local funding.
Emily Hudson, a senior at West Warwick High School, said she feels the addition of the devices has been a benefit to every class and says she feels lucky to use the technology before heading off to college.
"I think this is really cool because I can do whatever I want on it at home. I have senior social committee, student council and everything is together."
"Last year we had 1,300 devices in homes not a single one was stolen, not a single one was lost," said Jim Mont, director of education reform.
Monti is in charge of the transition to Chromebooks and says this project has made students more accountable, particularly with what they post online -- a transition many parents have grappled with in the digital age.
"You're not anonymous on the Internet you leave breadcrumbs and footprints wherever you go so you need to be responsible in regard to what you're saying and what you're doing and what you're creating," Monti said.
Taking home this new technology raises a number of questions, most of which are best answered on an individual basis, such as privacy for example.
These devices in West Warwick are closely monitored by teachers and administrators and any activity done on these devices can be tracked by teachers.
Teachers and administrators are expecting questions about the devices and have scheduled informational sessions throughout the fall as well as fielding questions via email.