Chromebooks for All Students
By Kim Tran
All Novato High freshmen received a Chromebook computer this school year as a part of Novato Unified School District’s new “One to World Technology” program geared toward all students in third through 12th grades to have chromebooks by 2020.
The “One to World Technology” program started this year with students in in the fifth, sixth, and ninth grades receiving a new Chromebook. The distribution for the next school year will include the incoming students in the fourth, sixth, ninth and 11th grades. Their mission is to give students an opportunity for interactive learning in and out of the classroom, and to provide readily available internet access. The district spent $548,000 to buy the Chromebooks, earbuds and storage carts by using money from the Measure G bond. The passing of Measure G provides the district with $222 million dollars to improve schools.
Currently in College and Career Readiness (CCR), students use Chromebooks to access a site called My10YearPlan.com. In English 9, students use chromebooks to research a topic based on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. English teacher Martha Fine discussed how she integrates Chromebooks into her class.
“We use the Chromebooks to connect what we read about and topics and themes in literature with what’s going on in the world today,” said Fine. “So students are reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian and we look at some of the issues that go in there. So students took a topic that was of interest to them from the book and went on their chromebooks and researched what was going on in the world on that topic today.”
Novato High Principal Matt Baldwin provided some insight on how chromebooks train students for college.
“We need to do things in the classroom that model of teachings when you leave this campus, whether that will be college first and how you interact with professionals and colleagues and peers in a college setting, or if you go right into a career; how you interact with technology in a career,” Baldwin said.
Although Baldwin supports the idea of Chromebooks for all, he does believe that some things must be learned without the help of technology.
“Almost everything you learn in a classroom setting, there should be some practical application of that,” Baldwin said. “It’s like reading a playbook on sports but not actually playing it. So, I’d like to think that there’s a way to use Chromebooks in technology to fix your learning modalities, but I also think regardless of how you learn the material, you need to have an outlet for practical application. I think that it’s a supplement, it’s a resource you can use.”
Freshman Riley Begley described the advantages of owning a personal Chromebook.
“I like being able to write out essays in English instead of writing it out on a piece of binder paper,” said Begley. “Being able to write on the Chromebook, I know this sounds stupid, but my hand always get really tired writing out huge essays, so when you’re able to have a Chromebook in the class, you’re able to write out clearly.”
There are always be people that will agree or disagree with this new initiative. In the end, chromebooks serve as a way to propel learning forward into the 21st century.