Chromebook rollout prepares pupils for new era of digital learning
22nd August 2019
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation.
Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
The rise of digital connectivity is transforming how pupils learn in the classroom and as such The Highland Council has developed its strategic action plan to ensure all learners have access to the appropriate technology to help them acquire these vital life skills. Deploying Chromebooks makes up an important part of this plan in narrowing the digital skills gap.
The project was phased over 2 years with approximately £6 million spent on providing Chromebooks to schools and embedding the use of G Suite for Education into the curriculum. The provision of Chromebooks has also allowed the Council to reduce the number of traditional laptop and desktop computers in schools, and in turn reduce ongoing support costs.
The rollout covers 29 Associated School Groups (ASG), over 200 schools, 22,000 Chromebooks, 35,000+ pupil and teacher accounts and was recently completed with the rollout of devices to the Kilchuimen ASG.
Initial feedback on the Chromebook Project has been pleasing with teachers saying:
"Chromebook usage allows easy access to homework exercises. Pupils can access material and notes at home through our website. Pupils can track their own learning and progress with individual charts that are shared between them and their teacher."
"It helps pupils with literacy difficulties access courses and supports writing. Videos can be used more to support ideas. Pupils can be more independent in their studies."
"It has made it much easier for pupils to do research e.g. to help with discursive writing; to access online revision resources; to access Google Classroom."
Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee, said: "I am delighted with the success of the Chromebook Project.
“Education globally is undergoing a radical transformation due to the universal nature of modern digital lifestyles and changing youth culture and we cannot underestimate the value in learning to use culturally relevant technology in developing life skills and preparing pupils for future careers. Digital access for all and the skills to use it effectively is essential for health, wellbeing and prosperity. This is particularly important for areas of digital exclusion."
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