Charles F. Patton Middle School

6th Grade Chromebook Pilot - Question and Answer

Question:  What is a Chromebook?

Answer:  A Chromebook is a laptop running Chrome OS as its operating system.

Question:  Why are we piloting a Chromebook 1:1 program?

Answer:  Unionville-Chadds Ford has always been a district to take a measured approach to technology integration.  We are piloting a 1:1 Chromebook program with the goals of increased opportunities for collaboration, communication and creativity,  increased student engagement in a personalized learning environment, increased use of technology to enhance teacher instruction, and improved access to both teacher content and robust internet resources to foster acquisition of knowledge and skills

Question:  Why did we choose the Chromebook as the device to pilot?

Answer:  We chose the Chromebook for many reasons.  Over the past two years, we have found that the teachers and students preferred the Chromebook over other devices we have to offer at school based on usage patterns of the different devices and informal polling of classes.  Since our School District uses Google as a platform for communication and workflow, Chromebooks fit seamlessly into our instructional environment.  Our students have gmail accounts and have received instruction on how to effectively use their gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, and other Google applications as a part of our sixth grade computer course curriculum.

Question: Why did we choose 6th grade and only one team for the pilot?

Answer:  We selected one 6th grade for a number of reasons.  The sixth grade is the grade level in the middle school that is the most purely teamed.  This means that the majority of their classes are taught by the same group of teachers.  This allows us to capture more reliable data regarding the integration and impact of introducing a device to their daily environment at school.  Additionally, our sixth graders have a computer course and a digital citizenship course through their special areas offerings to help support our teachers and students to appropriately and effectively use these devices for education and learning.  Finally, from both a fiscal and reasoned perspective, we chose only one team for the pilot because it makes good sense to learn about the value of the Chromebook and its ability to enhance our instructional program before making larger and more global recommendations for future planning and spending in regards to technology.

Question:  What do we hope to learn from the pilot program?

Answer:  We will be collecting data on how the Chromebook impacts the learning environment for the students and the instruction provided by the teachers.  We will be collecting data from all stakeholders to make recommendations to the Board to guide our vision for technology integration for the 2016-2017 school year and beyond.

Question: How are students placed onto the 1:1 Chromebook Pilot team?

Answer:  Team assignments are random.  We balance all teams based on student/teacher ratios, number of gifted students, number of special education students, and student gender ratios.

Question:  Which team will pilot the 1:1 program in 2015-2016?

Answer:  A Team will pilot the program as it is our largest of the three teams in 6th grade.

Question:  Is there a technology fee associated with being a student on the pilot team?

Answer:  Yes.  There will be a $50 technology fee assessed to each student who is on the pilot team.  This fee is to help offset costs of the implementation and maintenance of the devices.  The fee will be assessed to all students in the pilot except those who qualify for the national free and reduced lunch program.

Question: Can I request that my child be moved to the pilot team?

Answer:  If you have a strong or compelling reason for your child to be a part of the pilot team, your request may be considered.  However, it may not be possible to accommodate these requests.  Additionally, it may not be possible to guarantee that your child will be placed on a team with one of his/her friend choices if the request is granted.

Question:  What should I do if I don’t want my child to be on the pilot team?

Answer:  Please send us an email requesting that your child not be placed on the pilot team. It may not be possible to accommodate the request, but consideration will be given.  Additionally, it may not be possible to guarantee that your child will be placed on a team with one of his/her friend choices if the request is granted.

Question:  If my child is not on the pilot team, can he/she still bring a device to school each day?

Answer:  Yes.  District policy permits the use of student electronic devices in middle school with approval from the principal.  As a reality, since we can not support all the many different devices that are out there, we would ask that your child bring a Chromebook or other laptop if you exercise this option.  The device will need to be registered through school and will have to run through District web filters while on campus.  We are purchasing Dell Chromebooks for the pilot program as we have found them to be a sturdy, reliable, and cost effective option.

Question:  If my child is on the 1:1 Chromebook Team, when will he/she receive the Chromebooks?

Answer:  Our goal is to introduce the Chromebooks as soon as possible.  Training and education on the appropriate and effective use of the devices will begin at the start of the school year.

Question:  Will my child be able to take the device home?

Answer:  Because we recognize that there is opportunity for students to continue to create and collaborate while at home, we do plan to allow students to take the devices home.  This will likely happen at the end of the first marking period, once students have demonstrated their knowledge of the appropriate and effective use and care of the Chromebooks.

Question:  How will we partner to ensure our child knows how to safely and appropriately use the device?

Answer:  Sixth grade students will be given digital citizenship instruction and an online Chromebook Challenge course.   The district's acceptable use policy will be reviewed and in effect. The UCFSD website also provides tips on digital citizenship for parents.  While students are on-campus, the District will be providing web filtering and controls.  Once students are allowed to take the Chromebooks home, it will be the responsibility of the parent and student to ensure proper monitoring and use of the Chromebook during off-campus hours.

Question:  Will faculty or staff be able to access or control the webcam on the device?

Answer:  No. Faculty and staff will not have access to remote control the webcam in anyway.  Administrators cannot control the webcam.