One to One Technology Program

  • In the 2017-18 school year, NPS piloted a “1:1 technology program" in both high schools. Through this pilot, we sought to learn how technology might enhance our academic program, as well as how access to a personal device would impact a student’s learning experience.

    After observation, review, and feedback from pilot participants, we have decided to expand the 1:1 technology pilot program to all sophomores in the Newton Public Schools. This means that every 10th grader (rising 9th graders) will receive a Chromebook to utilize in the 2018-19 school year. Our goals for the program are as follows:

    • Encourage student collaboration
    • Improve access to a wider variety of resources
    • Provide additional ways of teaching creativity and critical thinking skills
    • Challenge students to adapt to new learning environments

    Importantly, providing every student with a Chromebook supports our district goal of equity by ensuring that every student has access to the same technology and tools both at school and at home.

    The 1:1 technology pilot program is expected to begin mid-year, allowing the district time to establish the back-end systems necessary for managing and deploying the devices. We will provide you with more detailed information this fall. We look forward to partnering with you as we launch this exciting new initiative in our high schools.

  • Why is NPS launching a one student one device (1:1) technology program?

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    Over the past 10 years, technology has created innovative mechanisms for teaching and learning. We expect the infusion of technology to encourage student collaboration, improve access to a wider variety of resources, provide additional ways of teaching creativity and critical thinking skills, and challenge students to adapt to new learning environments. We also must ensure that all students have equal access to the technology, which we believe enhances the learning experience and helps students develop critical skills for their future. While we believe that there are many excellent classroom practices that do not require technology, we also expect the new technology to foster continued innovation in teaching and learning.

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  • How will this “pilot” program work?

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    During the 2018-19 school year, every 10th grader in the Newton Public Schools will be issued a district-owned Chromebook. The program will likely begin  mid-year. The device will be the student’s to keep for the remainder of the year and can be used at school and at home.

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  • Will all students eventually be provided with a device?

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    Given the success of our smaller  pilot this year, it is the goal of the Newton Public Schools to eventually provide a personal technology device to all high school students. Feedback from the 2018-19 school year pilot will be used to determine the most strategic rollout of the program. District budgets will also impact the speed of expansion of the 1:1 technology program and will be evaluated in the coming years.

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  • What is driving the move to a 1:1 technology program?

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    Technology provides teachers and students with access to information and tools that enhance their learning experience. It also provides opportunities for students to share and collaborate with each other. When all students have a device, teachers can take advantage of these opportunities in real-time every day in the classroom.

     

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  • What are the advantages to every student having a laptop?

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    When every student has a device, the district ensures that all students have access to the same tools and resources. It also allows us to decrease any use of smartphones in the classroom for academic purposes. We are excited about the possibilities for instructional flexibility, personalized learning, and collaboration provided by Chromebooks.

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  • What is the challenge you are attempting to resolve?

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    By creating a 1:1 classroom environment, it is our goal to encourage student collaboration, improve access to a wider variety of resources, provide additional ways of teaching creativity and critical thinking skills, and challenge students to adapt to new learning environments. When every student has a school issued device, they have access to the same tools and resources and the district has the ability to effectively manage technology in the classroom.

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  • Will this change how teachers teach in Newton?

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    Given our research and observation of other districts in 1:1 environments, we expect access to technology devices will improve teaching in our classrooms. While the core curricula will not change, the way in which teachers deliver the material may be more dynamic, allowing for more flexibility, exploration, and personalization. The key human and interpersonal aspects of teaching and learning, however, will remain central to the work that happens in our classrooms.

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  • How do you see access to laptops improving the classroom experience for students and teachers?

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    We believe that laptops in the classrooms will provide more flexibility for both students and teachers. Learning will be more dynamic and access to online tools and information will be more accessible.

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  • Will teachers receive guidance & instruction on best practices for utilizing laptops in their class?

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    Yes. Faculty and staff will be provided professional development opportunities to learn best practices for utilizing laptops in the classroom and creating a dynamic 1:1 environment for students.

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  • Will students be expected to take notes on their laptops or can they continue to use pen and paper?

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    Students will be permitted to take notes in whatever manner works best for them. Teachers will work with individual students to identify the strategy that works. We will also learn from research on the optimal uses of technology in the classroom and ensure that key interpersonal and human aspects of learning are preserved.

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  • Are laptops really necessary for all subjects? Couldn’t shared laptop carts suffice?

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    Laptops will be utilized differently depending upon the subject material. While laptop carts are useful, they are difficult to manage and not always available when necessary. In addition, carts do not address access issues for students when they are at home.

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  • Will all homework require utilizing a device at night at home?

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    Not all homework will require use of a Chromebook. However, we hope that access to a Chromebook will assist students in a variety of ways. Furthermore, the district’s learning management system, Schoology, offers significant support for student learning and organization, and a 1:1 program will allow all students to access class Schoology sites when needed.

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  • How do you plan to limit students access to off-topic material(social media sites, messenger apps)?

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    Laptops will be managed in the same way they are managed in our schools now. Access to certain sites is restricted within the NPS network. Downloading of applications is also restricted.

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  • How will you prevent malware or viruses on the laptops given the diversity of users?

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    Our information technology department is developing a management process to limit exposure to malware and viruses that could be downloaded onto the laptops or into the system.

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  • Will certain sites and downloads be blocked on the NPS network?

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    We currently restrict access to certain sites and limit the ability to download specific applications. These restrictions and limitations will remain in place.

     

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  • When will students be given a laptop?

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    We anticipate that the program will begin rolling out in early winter (Dec. - Jan. timeframe), allowing time to develop the logistical and management support necessary for smooth implementation.

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  • What type of laptops will be provided to students?

    Posted by:

    Each 10th grader will be issued a Chromebook.  Chromebooks offer a cost effective way to provide a device for all students in the pilot and offer the functionality necessary for the vast majority of learning experiences.  We plan to retain more sophisticated desktop labs that may be necessary for specialized software in fields, such as Career and Technical Education, computer science, and the arts.

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  • Can my student bring their own laptop?

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    No. The purpose of the 1:1 technology initiative is for every student to have access to the same device, tools, and resources. When all students have the same device, this allows teachers to craft lessons and manage the devices appropriately in the classroom.

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  • What happens if my student damages the laptop?

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    Prior to issuing the device to your student, every family will sign a terms of use agreement. The agreement will outline the consequences of damage or loss.

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  • What happens if my student loses the laptop?

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    Prior to issuing the device to your student, every family will sign a terms of use agreement. The agreement will outline the consequences of damage or loss.

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  • Is there any fee associated with using the laptop?

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    We are still determining if there will be a nominal annual fee to utilize the Chromebook. If a fee is implemented, financial assistance will be provided to those in need. 

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  • Do we have to turn the laptop in over the summer?

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    We expect that students will turn in the laptops over the summer, but a this is still under consideration.

     

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1:1 Forms and Resources