WYALUSING — The Wyalusing Area School District introduced students and parents to the 1:World program on Tuesday where students will be given access to a HP Chromebook for school purposes.
The program will allow students from grades 7 to 12 to have a personally assigned laptop for classroom purposes and homework while students from grades 2 to 6 will only have access to their assigned laptop in the classroom.
The laptops come with a charger and a case which students are encouraged to decorate. The case decorations are to encourage individuality, but also aid in finding their Chromebook amongst the others should it ever be lost.
According to Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Deana Patson, 650 students will have access to Chromebooks during the school year and the school has taken measures to support the online traffic.
“We have more E-Rate funding coming this year to update the access points here in the elementary building, we have upgraded our core switches here in the high school this summer and in the elementary coming up,” stated Patson. “We will probably get expanding bandwidth as needed.”
Patson believes that the addition of the Chromebook in the classroom will change the dynamic of how the classroom operates.
“I believe it will make the classroom instruction more engaging for students,” said Patson. “I also feel that it will change the role of the teacher in the classroom from a sit-and-get method to a facilitator of learning — so rather than just provide all the information to the students, let them go out, search and find the answers to the problem solving.”
With the movement forward to becoming technology savvy, teachers are having different reactions to how it will affect the classroom, according to Patson.
“They are nervous — I will be honest,” said Patson. “We met with them in May and we did an in-service for feedback from them — what are their concerns, questions and how can we support them from a professional development standpoint. The conversation kept coming back to charging — will they come to my class with their device charged? Yes, because you will teach them that in your classroom you expect them to have it and when it is not done there is a consequence for them.”
As the classroom continues to grow and adapt, teachers and students will have access to new ways to access textbooks and information.
“We have a couple different sources that are free resources for online textbooks that are to state standards,” explained Patson. “We are looking into some of those resources — we already have some digital savvy teachers who are already using those resources and they don’t want to order textbooks. They want access to this portal or that portal.”
According to the Wyalusing Rams website, there will be a meeting today at 9 a.m. at the high school auditorium for the assignment of laptops and instructions on their care. There will also be meetings on Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the high school auditorium for those that could not make it on Tuesday or Wednesday.