The events of these past few months have highlighted the importance of technology for continuity of learning between school and home. This summer, we are upgrading our Internet services, firewall / security appliance, and wireless access points to support a growing number of devices and capacity for video conferencing. We are also thinking seriously about a 1:1 technology plan for grade 4-12 students next year.
There are a variety of 1:1 models in school settings. Some schools provide machines of the same type to each student; others have a hybrid of student-owned and school-owned machines. At its basic level, 1:1 means that each student would have a device assigned to them for at-school and at-home learning.
We would like feedback from our families on a “rent-to-own” device deployment program. This would involve an intermediate (grades 4-7) “rent to own” Chromebook program, and a BYOD (bring your own device) and/or “rent to own” laptop program for high school students. Subsidies and/or device loans would be arranged for families who cannot afford rental fees.
Here’s what the basic program could look like:
Intermediate 1:1 Chromebook Deployment
School rental of new, rugged Chromebooks w/ 3-yr warranty (Value: ~$250)
3-yr “rent to own” payment schedule: $150, $50, $50
High School 1:1 Laptop Deployment
Option 1: BYOD (with pre-identified specs)
Option 2: School rental of business-grade, refurbished laptops w/ 3yr warranty (Value: ~$600)
3-yr “rent to own” payment schedule: $300, $150, $150
Chromebooks are currently being used by our grade 6 and 7 students, and provide straightforward access to Google tools such as Classroom, Meets, and Drive. Laptops would be deployed with Microsoft Office software and maintained by the school. The 3-yr warranties from our preferred vendor are comprehensive – covering repair or replacement in all cases of damage. Devices would be transferred into family ownership at the end of 3yr rental period. A school buy-back program may also be considered – especially for students moving from elementary to high school.
Many of our students and/or families already have devices that meet required specifications. Some of our current Chromebooks and laptops have the required specifications for video conferencing and desktop publishing. These devices are being sold “as is” for $100 and $200, respectively. Regardless of what we decide to do regarding 1:1 technology deployment, you can indicate your interest in purchasing one of our used machines in the survey form below.
Please give us your feedback on this 1:1 plan before Monday, June 22nd. If we decide to move forward with this plan, we will provide more information in our last Shake eNewsletter on Wednesday, June 24th.