The Lemoore Union Elementary School District has rolled out new Chromebook laptops for all of their students to help them improve their technology skills.
Lemoore School District Superintendent Cheryl Hunt said this will be the first year that all students will have access to Chromebooks, down to the youngest students in kindergarten and transitional kindergarten.
The first few weeks have been a set of practice runs for both the students and their teachers to practice implementing newly purchased Dell Chromebooks into their classrooms and in their lessons.
At P. W. Engvall Elementary School this past week, students in transitional kindergarten (which is for children who turn 5 between September and December) and kindergarten have been slowly introduced to the technology so that they can become familiar with it.
“The devices that we have are 360 devices so they are not only keyboard but also touch screen, and they can lay them flat like a tablet,” Hunt said. “They are learning how to log in, and they have their own password.”
Every student will have a Chromebook of his or her own and will be using programs like Starfall for many of their lessons and homework assignments.
Students in seventh and eighth grade will be able to take them home with to use for homework.
Engvall Elementary has a total of about 15 kindergarten teachers and three T-K, who will be receiving the laptops this year.
Kindergarten teacher Anne Pedro has been teaching for 18 years and says this is the first time she has had a computer for each student.
She hopes that by the end of the year, students will be able to use Google Docs or create a number of Google Slides.
“At the very beginning, the students will be using them for a span of about 15 to 20 minutes,” Pedro said. “Logging on was a big thing, because they are looking for their numbers, and they are looking for their letters.
Her first priority is to help the students learn their ABCs, their numbers, and other sets of beginner learning activities.
“In first grade, they will be able to do more things, and when they get older there are lots of things that they can do,” Pedro said of the laptops.
Pedro’s kindergarteners had their first day of training with the devices on Wednesday, and practiced typing in their usernames and passwords to log in. The students caught on pretty quickly, and went on to learn how to log on to the program Starfall, where they will be working on reading and math problems.
The activity itself was helpful to many of the students who were not too familiar with their ABCs or the spelling of their names.
“I think this will really help them to develop their technology skills, and how to utilize the device appropriately,” Hunt said. “A couple of them have indicated that they have a computer at home, but now they have one at school, so they are excited about it.”
Hunt said that to prepare for introducing the computers, many of the teachers have spent time over the last few years going through training in Goggle systems and participated in additional technology training this summer.
“We went through an English adoption last year, and the components of that adoption were very technology based so that the textbooks, reading materials are all pushed out onto the computer,” Hunt said. “We’re trying to get them (the students) used to that sort of teaching environment so that when they go to college they already have that skills set.”