Monday, March 11, 2013
HOLY CHROMEBOOKS, BATMAN!
What an outstanding few weeks it has been for Passaic City Public Schools. Presidents Day marked a historical event for our district as 3100 chromebooks crossed the thresholds of Lincoln Middle School and Passaic High School signifying the first major shipment to arrive in Passaic. Pallet after pallet containing 100 chromebooks rolled through the doors at LMS. In just over an hour the hallways were lined with 20 skids, 2000 chromebooks, which will sit on the desks of students for years to come. All 2000 chromebooks were unpacked, checked, inventoried, and even deployed to pilot teacher carts. Chromebooks will be the vehicle through which educational change will occur and excellent teaching will evolve to include 21st century workplace skills and digital literacy. In the words of Dr. Lawrence Everett, acting superintendent of schools, "This 1:1 initiative with the Samsung Chromebooks is the culmination of many years of planning aimed at realizing our goal of narrowing the digital divide for our student population.With access to Samsung Chromebooks every day and all day at school, and also in their homes from later this year, Passaic students will now have much greater opportunities to obtain the 21st century skills that are so essential to success once they graduate and enter the workforce or college."
Even though Presidents Day weekend offered a much needed weekend off for many, the tech department opted to be a part of history by making sure all of the chromebooks that were delivered were counted, checked, and packed away. What a great feeling to realize that we are almost there; teachers will soon be using these chromebooks in their classes and this realization is extremely exciting.
On Friday of the same week, Samsung arrived with a full array of camera gear to carry out a case study highlighting the use of Samsung Chromebooks in one of our pilot teacher's classrooms. Pilot teacher, Mike Lauricella accompanied by LMS Technology Coordinator, Joanna Antoniou taught a brilliant lesson using Meograph (an online timeline) to emphasize the major events of the French Revolution. The class did such a wonderful job using the chromebooks to create digital content. Also, two of Mr. Lauricella's students spoke brilliantly about how the use of technology will enhance their learning experiences in their classes. Samsung also visited pilot teacher Vida Fernandez's classroom as they watched recordings of students from a class in Bavaria. They are planning to perform a trial of Frankenstein with the class from Bavaria over skype in the near future.
All of the technology coordinators along with our fearless leader Joshua Koen are excited to be presenting at the NJECC this week at Montclair State University. I am confident that we have a lot of great information and experience to share with our peers, and hope that the individuals who attend our conference sessions find that what we have to offer is worth their time and energy. We have been working hard to make sure that we provide a quality experience for those who come and participate in our sessions.