Having grown up immersed in technology, today’s students are digital natives. In fact, with 75% of kids under 8 having their own mobile device, these young minds crave interactive learning environments in their classroom. Unfortunately due to budget constraints, on average, there is only one working device per 4 students in schools across the United States. To engage modern learning styles, school districts, educators and IT professionals are working together to raise student achievement through the implementation of 1:1 classrooms. The result of these blended classrooms prove to be cost-effective, manageable and very powerful and the benefits are many, as digital learning not only helps students build lifelong 21st Century skills but gives schools new and improved ways to achieve goals in support of core district curriculum.
The challenges schools face include:
- Disparate and Aging Fleet of Ed-Tech Devices
- Student Access to Inappropriate Web Content
- Delays in Student Assessments
- Parent Concerns
- Strain on IT
But, with the implementation of 1:1 learning, so much more is possible: engaged students, empowered teachers, classroom collaboration, increased visibility, heightened security and parent involvement.
Before deploying digital learning campus-wide, many 1:1 pioneers recommend assessing resources and rolling out a pilot program as part of a scalable, district-wide initiative. Case in point is Geeter Middle School who added 35 devices into their 6th-grade math classroom on top of their existing infrastructure.
The results were nothing less than phenomenal. Thanks to touchscreen tablets and apps that provided immediate feedback, students outpaced every other class in the district, and excitement levels in the classroom grew drastically. Their pilot program proved to staff and stakeholders that the shift to digital transformation offered incredible flexibility and real-time visibility into the learning process.
The Price is Right
To fully understand the costs of a 1:1 computing solution, schools must consider the long-term costs of maintaining an aging, disparate fleet and the immediate cost and resource savings of laptops and tablets. Prior to blended learning, schools often used a variety of devices, programs and user interfaces, creating a scattered approach to learning for both teachers and students. To make matters worse, these slow devices were unreliable, batteries failed and manual updates across devices cost schools countless hours in IT support.
To solve this issue, many schools have opted to use Samsung’s Chromebook, largely in part to the promise of Chrome OS and its ready to teach technology, available right out of the box. For schools, this means no extra costs for licensing or servers. Chromebooks and tablets also have faster hardware, a low purchase price and long life span, making a school’s limited funding go further. In the end, schools are able to put more devices into the hands of students and one step closer to a true 1:1 environment.
Gain Peace of Mind
The Internet is a proverbial Pandora’s Box for teachers and administrators. Along with news, virtual field trips and countless educational websites, students can also access inappropriate content and imagery on school’s computers if the proper safeguards aren’t in place. Teachers, administrators and IT professionals take this responsibility very seriously. A great way to protect students from the pitfalls of Internet use is to adopt new technologies, like Samsung’s educational devices, that feature additional layers of security. Think built-in software that is always up-to-date, security levels for younger and older students and “always on” filters and content analysis that analyze every email and file students view.
Reach Every Student
In a traditional classroom setting, educators have to rely on paper tests and homework to determine whether a student understands the curriculum. Often, teachers simply don’t have the time to immediately grade assessments due to over-extended schedules, countless standardized tests and the mountain of other tasks that must happen first. This creates a visibility gap between teachers and students.
Many schools are looking to 1:1 learning as a way to close the visibility gap. Their students use Chromebooks and tablets to co-create content, share ideas and solve problems. Students are even using their neighbor as a reference or to test theories to understand if they’re on the right track. This collaborative approach reinforces real-world skills like teamwork, communication and problem-solving are developing today’s learners into better leaders.
For educators, blended learning is invaluable as it lets them watch the on-screen collaboration unfold and creates new ways to guide student development. Teachers are also using Samsung’s collaboration software and tools to monitor student progress, track student data and control devices.
Connect Parents and Teachers
Getting parents on board with integrated technology can be challenging for progressive teachers. Parents cannot understand how technology will be used to teach subjects like math or history. To develop a shared vision for 1:1 learning, many schools are using Google Calendar as a central hub for assignment notebooks, monthly planners and as a document repository.
By accessing these resources at home and on classroom Chromebooks and tablets, parent buy-in happens naturally. They see, first hand, how their students are learning real-world skills, producing tech-enabled projects and even collaborating online.
As schools transition toward digital learning, many educators and administrators are forced to play catch-up with inadequate infrastructure, legacy devices and limited budgets. All hard-working teachers and staff want are classroom devices that work, right out of the box. They don’t have time or the training to set up machines or configure settings. They simply want battle-tested devices that can withstand a long day of rigorous use, at their school. A great way to do this is with Samsung’s Chromebooks and tablets.
From an IT perspective, Chromebooks and tablets offer everything educators are asking for plus powerful admin tools that will help make their life a bit less hectic, too. The Google Admin console allows IT staff to apply security and access policies using a collection of baked in tools. They can easily customize devices for different groups of users and make changes on the fly that will push out software programs and updates to the necessary devices, saving countless hours of manpower.
Samsung Chromebooks and Galaxy tablets offer new ways to address the unique needs of today’s K-12 schools. These technologies have broken down walls that students have toward education and built a new generation of inspired learners and empowered educators, administrators and IT professionals. Are you ready to make the move?
NWN serves hundreds of K-12 school systems across the country. We’ve helped small schools to large districts implement high-impact 1:1 programs. To learn more about how Samsung Chromebooks and tablets can facilitate learning and communication at your school, please contact us. We’re here to help!