Many schools have computer labs that students visit to work on projects ranging from online research to writing papers and developing presentations. Four years ago, BVSD piloted a new model, which aimed to bring computers to the students instead.
The 1:Web program provides brand new Chromebooks to incoming freshmen and sixth graders at participating schools. Now students at nine schools in BVSD have their own Chromebook devices that they take along with them throughout the day and home for the evenings and weekends.
“There were many fears at the beginning that there would be less communication between students because they had technology, and in fact, I’ve seen the exact opposite,” said Ginger Ramsey, Principal at Broomfield High School. ”Students are engaged more in their classes, teachers are pushing them to do more intense study, and I’m just excited for what we see in the classroom.”
“We have a lot more versatility as far as what we can do,” said Holly Sullivan, a student when 1:Web was introduced at Centaurus. “Before, it would be a hassle if we wanted to do anything collaborative online, we'd have to go somewhere, or if you wanted to work on an online project outside of class or at lunch.”
Through the 1:Web program, students receive direct instruction in digital citizenship, practical tips about how to care for their device, and training about when it is appropriate to use these tools.
“I think it gives students a lot of opportunities to work on things that they couldn't otherwise,” said Sullivan.
Schools are actively involving their parents every step of the way. The 1:Web program would not be a success without the partnership between the schools and their families. Prior to implementing the program, each school is meeting with families to engage in a discussion and demonstration regarding instructional and learning shifts in classrooms.
School staff engages in professional development about how to use technology to truly enhance student learning focusing on the 4 Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The 1:Web program is also a key to closing the digital divide in BVSD.
“1:Web gives us the opportunity to make sure that all students have the same access to learning tools, all students come away from high school with the same digital skills and can be competitive in the job market, no matter what part of the job market they are aiming for,” said Jill Williams, a teacher at Arapahoe Ridge High School.
If a student at a school with the 1:Web program goes through the usual four-year sequence and graduates from BVSD, they get to keep their Chromebook. If they leave early due to moving or some other reason, they have the choice between paying off any remaining balance (and keeping their Chromebook) or returning it (if they don't want to pay it off).
The 1:Web program was piloted at Centaurus and Broomfield high schools then extended to seven new schools in 2017-18. All 9th graders at Arapahoe Ridge High, Boulder Universal, Nederland Middle/High and New Vista High, and 6th graders at Angevine Middle, Aspen Creek Middle, Broomfield Heights Middle and Nederland Middle/High received Chromebooks in January 2018. Approximately 3700 additional devices will be deployed in the 2018-19 school year as we add ten more schools to the program, including every middle school in BVSD!