Students gain better technology access with one-to-one program

All high school and middle school students now have access to technology that should allow them more opportunities to continue learning outside of the classroom.

   While WHS has focused on mostly classroom access to Chromebooks, after returning from winter break on Jan 4, all students were issued school Chromebooks (one-to-one)  that they could take home. 

   “It’s a good way for all students to have equal access and, if we were ever to have a snow day or in case someone misses a day, they can go on their computer and see what they haven’t done,” assistant principal Cody Wright said.

   Students did face two weeks of snow days in mid-February and teachers were able to deliver materials to students electronically for AMI (Alternative Methods of Instruction) for four of those days. 

      “The Chromebooks are beneficial because they allow people to do their homework and allow people to access the internet at home, before we were not allowed to take any Chromebooks home so the kids without a computer could not do their work and it really impacts them,” sophomore Brayden Elmer said.

   The One-to-One program is something district administrators have been planning for a while. 

   The district surveyed families to determine internet and technology access. 

    According to the survey sent out, 81.6 percent of all respondents (891 responses total), indicated Internet access inside the home. Over 25 percent indicated they did not have a device at home that could be used for schoolwork. 

   Because of those 25 percent of kids that don’t have access to online work at home, the school is offering hotspot devices to those who request it.

   Assistant superintendent Christian Meier said hot spots were provided, free of charge, through a grant created and funded by T-Mobile called Project 10Million. The district received 275 hot spots, each with approximately 20GB of free data available every month, up to a maximum of 100GB per year. The hot spots are available, one per family, and can be requested via email by the students’ parents or guardian. The Warsaw school district has sent out 18 of the hot spots. 

   Students are learning to deal with the responsibility of keeping Chromebooks charged, and remembering to bring them to school. If a student forgets his/her device at home, he/she is required to check out a backup device from the school library. Students can also charge these devices throughout the day in classrooms with Chromebook carts.