1:1 Coming Fall 2018
Catholic High’s goal of academic excellence is supported by environments that foster creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
There has been a global paradigm shift. The exchange of information has been redefined by an expanding global digital infrastructure and through the evolution of mobile technologies. Information is presented in real-time, and feedback is offered through transparent portals. Students, therefore, must have access to resources and tools that they need to create, problem solve, and learn in today’s world.
Our Planning and Research
In the fall of 2010, we began the process of determining the best way to establish environments that provide all students with reliable, consistent access to information. We wished to be reflective and thoughtful in our actions, and so we took our time to research, discuss, plan, test, and evaluate. We participated in professional development opportunities and visited other schools having the same discussions. We took steps toward providing reliable, consistent access, such as:
- overhauling our network infrastructure;
- upgrading our bandwidth;
- implementing G Suite for Education tools campus-wide; and
- Expanding our bring your own device (BYOD) program for upper grades and a Chromebooks-in-Carts program in lower grades.
After seven years of careful planning and thoughtful preparation, Catholic High is thrilled to announce that we will fully implement a 1:1 teaching and learning program during the 2018-2019 school year. The initiative is fully supported by the findings and recommendations of the 2017 Long Range Planning process. This program will supply all students and faculty with equal access to their own internet ready device. It is important to remember that easy access to information, more effective communication and opportunities for collaboration, and increased student engagement are the driving forces of this initiative; the device itself is not the focus.
Tools of implementation
Through research and testing, we have come to select the Chromebook as the most suitable device for our environment. These fast, durable, cost-effective devices are extremely intuitive, have an all-day battery life, and integrate seamlessly with our G Suite applications. GoGuardian, our management suite, will be utilized to ensure we can continue to work with parents and students for positive learning outcomes. This solution not only affords teachers the ability to manage devices directly in the classroom, it also provides administrators with the capability to filter objectionable content and monitor potentially harmful online behaviors. Leveraging these tools supports the school’s vision of helping all students to become confident, self-directed, lifelong learners who keep Christ at the center of their words and actions.
What do I need to do during the 2017-2018 school year?
Right now, nothing. The biggest change this year is for our freshman, the class of 2021, who will not take part in BYOD. Direct communication with those parents and students has already taken place, with more details to come.
In the upcoming year, we will continue to share information with you regarding the few steps you will take to ready your child for our Implementation Year. Our students have already been using GSuite tools for several years, which will minimize the need for detailed training and preparation as they seamlessly integrate with Chromebooks. In the meantime, below are some of the expectations that will be a part of the 2017-2018 school year. If you have any questions or concerns at this time or in the coming months, please feel free to contact our Director of Technology and Communications, Mrs. Erin B. Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What will the rollout look like in the fall of 2018?
Rollout for the fall of 2018 will provide every student in grades 9-12 with a Chromebook. All high school students will have use of a school-owned and maintained device with insurance coverage. Students will not be allowed to bring their own devices on to campus. Seniors, many of whom have participated in BYOD for three years, will have the option of a full opt-in or an on-campus loaner, much like this year’s freshmen did.
Our Goals and Expected Outcomes
The regular use of available digital tools by our students will:
- afford students opportunities to work from anywhere in a safe and monitored environment;
- foster use of digital technologies and social media as tools for creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving;
- improve students’ digital citizenship skills as they leverage technology to access, evaluate, use, and manage information;
- expand students’ awareness of CyberSecurity First principles;
- provide daily access to valuable applications and resources that will support students in their learning and extend their classroom experience outside of school;
- improve student organization and time management skills; and
- improve communication with teachers.
One of the most vital parts of making our 1:1 Initiative successful is our teachers. Regular use of digital tools by our teachers will:
- create a more student-centered classroom in which students take responsibility for their own learning, thereby increasing student engagement and participation;
- more easily accommodate various learning styles among students;
- reduce the amount of printed materials distributed to and collected from students, consequently reducing the amount of paper for teachers to manage, file, and store; and
- improve communication between teachers, students, and parents.
We will continue discussions about how to best utilize these tools so that our students leave Catholic High having experienced technology as a learning aid and not simply a form of entertainment. Technology usage will be both directed, to enhance students’ academic experiences, and mindful, to allow for reflection on how and when technology usage is appropriate.
In closing, we are thrilled to begin this program that will continue to engage and challenge all of us to grow. We are anxious to provide our students with access to a multitude of digital tools that can support their learning both inside and outside of the classroom by fostering creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration while at the same time improving communication and organization. We are grateful for your cooperation and assistance. We realize that change is not always easy and are dedicated to helping our students and faculty find ways to modernize, enhance, and balance classroom traditions with the needs of our 21st century students.