Page 16 - THE Journal, October 2017
P. 16

“Differentiate professional development way before the device arrives. Warn [teachers] about what is going to come, and allow for mistakes.”
Rochelle Kolhouse, iConnect Zone TEAM Coach at Pikes Peak Early College, Colorado Springs, CO, fosters literacy using Reading Horizons via 1-to-1 devices. “We began using Reading Horizons last school year with our struggling readers,” said Kolhouse. “This program has been phenomenal with our students and their reading. In terms of 1-to-1, that has certainly helped us to implement this program.”
Determining needs on a district-wide scale has its own challenges, ultimately requiring more flexibility across a variety of different student needs. Pam Moran, superintendent of the Albemarle County Public Schools, Albemarle, VA, is responsible for about 13,500 students across 25 schools in Albemarle — 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and four high schools.
The county is a testing ground of sorts for just about every demographic.
According to Jamie Foreman, coordinator of instructional technologies, Albemarle County Public Schools, all students have devices (1-to-1) assigned to them in grades 3 through 12. “Starting in middle school, students take them home each day,” said Foreman. “We are talking about elementary schoolers being able to take their devices home with them, but currently it’s 6-12.”
When Foreman started working at the district in 2010, it was a BYOD situation, and even today, “it’s something we leave up to the schools a little bit, to see how
it works best with their school.” And if students would rather use a device they have at home, Foreman said that they are not required to use a school laptop. “We certainly advocate for them to use
a laptop,” she said, “because we have licensing in those laptops that they can’t access on a personal device, unless there is advanced software.”
With so many variables, accidents
and misuse are bound to happen. A warranty on Albemarle devices allows school leaders to get “robust service” when needed. “We do have a laptop agreement that families sign off on, and they understand the rules and risks,”
said Foreman. “If it’s damaged a certain amount of times, there is a cost. We always try to work with families to make sure students have what they need from a learning standpoint, and we won’t punish students for accidents.”
“If we start to see a pattern,” said Moran, “that’s when we would limit use or put responsibility back on the family. We make our kids administrators of their own devices. We find that our middle school kids tend to have more viruses pop up in their computers. We see a fairly high percentage of machines getting re- imaged, which is a natural consequence of messing up your machine. That usually
| OCTOBER 2017
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