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Chromebook Program Expanding In Tea

August 26, 2014, 6:56 AM by Leland Steva

Chromebook Program Expanding In Tea
TEA, SD -

Starting today, more classrooms at the Tea School District will be filled with Chromebooks. While the technology will help the students and teachers in the district, there will be some challenges as well.

The district did a trail run with seventh and eighth graders last year. There was some hurdles, but overall it was successful. Today, the school is now passing out around 300 Chromebooks to four different grades.

They may just in boxes now, but soon these Chromebooks will be changing lesson plans in Tea Area Schools.

High School Social Studies teacher Ryan Decker dealt with the laptops while teaching middle school students last year. He's excited to see the computers in the hands of the older students.

"There will be a period of adjustment for them as well getting use to it," teacher Ryan Decker said. "But I think they are going to like the tool and I think they're going to find it's just going to make things a lot easier them to organize and get work submitted and keep track of everything."

Decker says last year he had to make adjustments to teaching with the Chromebooks in the classroom.

"One of the things with the Chromebooks is there's no hard drive so you can't save anything to the Chromebooks," Decker said. "We found that out the hard way in a couple classes."

The IT Department had to make some changes after last year's trial run.

"We learned a lot more about where our bandwidth was at," Jamie Ihnen said. "Because the more devices you bring in, we found out we need a lot more bandwidth."

The department spent a few weeks over the summer setting up the computers. Now the Chromebooks are ready to go, and the school believes the student's future will benefit.

"Going into college there's so many classes that utilize Desire2Learn and online learning," Ihnen said. "And so the more familiar they are now with using the technology and getting comfortable with it, it's just going to make their transistion to college that much better."

With the two grades that already have their computers from last year, there will be close to 600 Chromebooks in Tea after today.

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