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Chromebook Check-Up

January 21, 2014, 5:09 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Chromebook Check-Up

Along with incorporating common core into the curriculum, this is also the first year of the Sioux Falls School District's one-to-one technology initiative.

Students at Sioux Falls high schools have now had Chromebooks in the classroom for a full semester.

"In the past, it used to be students came to school, they powered down. They turned off their cell phones. They didn't have that equipment. And then they went back home and they powered up. Now, when they come to school, the Chromebook allows them to be engaged with what's going on in the real world," Dan Conrad, Assistant Principal at Washington High School, said. 

Conrad says they have had a few students get around the Proxy server and view inappropriate sites. But he says the cases have been few and far between.

"Now are there opportunities for some kids that are sharp and savvy, and they found some ways to get around these things. And when they're brought to our attention, we address it," Conrad said.

Students caught using the Chromebooks inappropriately have them taken away and must use the school's computer labs to do homework.

On top of monitoring what kids are viewing, teachers have also been learning new ways to engage students.

"The real neat thing about it now is staff have taken the initiative to go above and beyond. So we kind of provided them a base line, and now they're going above and beyond. You walk into a classroom and they're utilizing it in ways you would have never thought were possible," Conrad said.

Though the teachers are doing their part in the classroom, Conrad says parents also have a responsibility once the Chromebooks come home.

"As with anything in life, the extent at which you use it and you want to monitor it. And not necessarily limit it, but you want to keep it to an appropriate amount of time," Conrad said.

Conrad says they haven't had many issues with broken Chromebooks. The biggest problem, he says, is students grabbing and breaking the screens.

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