When students in the Bowling Green Independent School District return to classes in the fall – whether that takes the form of distance learning, in-person instruction or a mix of the two – they’ll have hundreds of new Chromebooks at their disposal.
The district has purchased the devices for students in order to expand its 1-to-1 Chromebook initiative, which will cover all students between the fourth and 12th grades this coming school year.
It’s the latest step in an effort that began five years ago initially aimed at equipping every Bowling Green High School student with a laptop they could use for school assignments.
Now, though, after reaching that goal last fall and with the coronavirus crisis upending conventional classroom learning, the project has taken on a new sense of urgency.
William King, the district’s director of technology, said it’s an effort to ensure that “all students have an equitable experience and have what they need to be successful.”
As is the case during a normal school year, Bowling Green High School students will be permitted to take their Chromebooks home each evening for homework, while the devices for fourth through eighth graders will be stored at school, King said.
“If we do have to switch to more nontraditional instruction, we do have a plan in place for those students to use those at home to be able to access things like Google Classroom” and other online tools teachers are already using for instruction.
The effort is a “significant” investment for the district, King said, adding that funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act helped make the purchase and maintenance of the new devices possible.
King said the devices will open up new learning avenues for students.
“It opens up a lot of different tools and ways for teachers to communicate with our students and parents. It allows our kids to collaborate with other kids in other classes – not just in Kentucky, but around the globe,” he said.
– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.