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Tuesday August 25, 2015 Edition
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New Chromebooks At VUHS New Learning Styles For Digital Age Students
photo by Photo ProvidedTeachers and administrators alike were on hand for a week long Google Tools training and using the new Chromebooks that are now a part of the learning landscape at VUHS.
photo by Photo Provided
Tuesday August 25, 2015
By Alyse Beauchemin
The essential tools teachers use for educating students change reflecting the
technology available at the time. As each generation of learners pass through the halls of their high school, the technology of the age becomes more available to the public. In turn schools incorporate that technology for use in their learning facilities. For example in the past few decades chalkboards have been replaced with white boards and then eventually with Smart boards. Slide-rulers have been replaced with calculators and typewriters replaced with keyboards. Starting this coming school year at Vergennes Union High School, Google Chromebooks have been leased to the school for the next three years to be used by the middle school and high school.
Principal Stephanie Taylor remarked, “It is because the current students attending VUHS are being raised in the digital age and it was time to get the Chromebooks.” And Taylor found that this was an opportunity not to be missed because of the cheap price of the laptops. “We were doing a disservice to our students by not giving them the tools or devices and the opportunity to use tools that we use in our normal lives.” Instead of taking time out of a class to go to the library to research a topic, students will now be able to save time and effort on their new laptops. Although the Chromebooks will not be taken home, there will be a computer available to every middle school student to unplug in the morning, take from class to class and at the end of the day plug back into chargers. Twenty-four Chromebooks have also been purchased for each of the Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Foreign Language departments in the high school. Buying each Chromebook would be more expensive than leasing. After three years of leasing the school has the option of buying each Chromebook for one dollar or trading them in for a new set.
Learning and instruction at VUHS will be slightly different with the Chromebooks at the disposal of students. Teachers will develop new units and rethink curriculum while students will find themselves more engaged with the new learning style provided by use of Chromebooks. Twenty-eight teachers took Google Chrome classes at the high school this summer to better integrate the technology within their classes this fall. “I don’t see huge problems with the use of these laptops,” Principal Taylor says. “We’re going to have to develop procedures around their use. There may be a possibility in the distant future of students being able to take the Chromebooks home but time will tell.”
The computers do not cost much more than an AP Biology textbook but accountability must be taken to mind. Either way the highly anticipated Chromebooks are here and will afford students a platform from which to launch into new investigations, research and approaches when dealing with class assignments or homework. The Chromebooks are a tool and part of a digital age of learning that breaks down boundaries of time, space and geography. The new concentration of Chromebooks will be an exciting part of the learning opportunities offered this fall at VUHS.
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