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District plan calls for 24-7 computer access for all secondary students

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Hudson Star Observer
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District plan calls for 24-7 computer access for all secondary students
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hudson Board of Education approved a plan that will provide all secondary students access to a Chromebook of their own by 2017.

The One to One Chromebook Initiative will begin in fall 2014 with Chromebook tablets being made available to all sixth-graders and HHS students in the STEM+ Academy and Freshman Academy teachers in addition to two portable labs with 30 devices each.

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The rollout of the plan continues in 2015 with the tablets being provided for all seventh- and eighth-graders and students in the HHS Health Care Academy.

In 2016, the ninth and tenth grades are added to the rollout with 11th- and 12th-graders added in fall 2017. In 2018, a refresh cycle will begin and the tablets will begin to be introduced at the elementary level where the plan calls for a device to be available for every four students.

The cost of the plan of the plan is $315,000 in 2014-15, $453,000 in 2015-16 and $410,000 in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Beginning in 2018, the annual expense would be $398,000 annually based on current costs.

The cost includes staff salary of $121,000 annually which includes a half-time technology integration coach, addition program support time, a reallocation of an AV technician to technology technician from 192 days to 250 and a .5 technology support position specific to Chromebooks and infrastructure related to one-to-one systems.

System Improvement Director David Grambow said the initiative is part of the HSD2025 implementation plan which includes providing students with media and technology literacy and providing personalized learning experiences.

He also noted that the plan addresses the concerns of one middle school student who spoke to the board last fall about the need to provide devices for all students, not just those who already owned them.

Grambow went on to outline the district’s plan for professional development utilizing the devices including applications for education that are specific to curriculum and individualized student learning as well as a plan to measure the impact and success of the plan for students.

The devices will be subject to all the safeguards currently in place for devices at school and will extend to the use of the devices outside of school.

Grambow noted that the primary goals of going to a “one-to-one environment” are not related to cost savings. “But a true one-to-one environment does allow for some structural reallocations which help to offset the cost of investment.  Most of these reallocations cannot be fully realized until an entire school is operating at a one-to-one level.”

He noted the plan will result in among other things a reduction in paper use and multi-function copier/printer contracts, potential savings related to online curriculum and e-books and flexible digital content, increased efficiency and cost savings related to online professional development, space savings related to the storage of curricular support materials, reduction in the number of hardwired computer labs at the secondary level and the elimination of the need to purchase devices for economically disadvantaged students.

Regarding the care and maintenance of the tablets, Grambow said the district is looking into a variety of options including insurance on the devices at a reasonable cost. He noted that responsibility for the proper care and maintenance of the tablet would be similar to that students and families already have for textbooks and other school property in their custody.

For more information contact Grambow at (715) 377-3705 or email him at grambode@hudson.k12.wi.us

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Meg Heaton
Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
(715) 808-8604
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