The dramatic increase in digital devices and the Internet has provided students with continuous access to a variety of resources that allow them to create multimedia content, communicate with people from around the world, and access information instantaneously. These empowering technologies have also transformed the type and nature of work that students will do and, ultimately, will require schools to shift in ways to prepare students for this new working environment. Currently, students in Novato Unified have varying access to digital devices as part of the classroom experience.
We recognize the need for a digital transformation in our classrooms that provides our students with the skills to allow them to be a successful member of this digital, global community. Since current teaching methods are not always conducive to the effective use of technology, our teachers need focused instructional support to develop lessons that allow for the integration of technology. Our district focus on project-based learning aligns well with the implementation of student devices. Specifically, the instructional components of well-designed projects will require students to have access to the world via the internet.
All NUSD students in grade 3-12 will have Chromebooks.
The Chromebook travels with the student to be used at school, home, and anywhere else learning may occur. Instead of requiring these devices to be returned at the end of the school year, we are allowing students to keep the same Chromebook over the summer and ultimately until they leave the school in 8th and 12th grades respectively.
We believe that this is important to combat “summer slide” – the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. We also think that it will encourage students to have a more personal connection with their device, building a sense of responsibility and ownership that will result in better care of the devices.
It is important to note that the Chromebook is still school property and all existing rules and damage policies will continue to apply. Chromebooks are to be kept, used, and stored safely at home and the student is responsible for bringing them back in August in good working condition. Should you decide to opt-out of this opportunity, please have your child return the Chromebook to the library before the last day of school. It will be re-issued to them in the fall.
The District believes there is tremendous value in allowing the devices to go home with students. It enables 24/7 learning without borders or boundaries, effectively extending the school day and encouraging students to develop a love of learning. Although some of the activities and topics that students pursue may not be directly linked to classroom activities, they can still be beneficial by developing students’ ability to locate information, evaluate it, synthesize it, and communicate with others. This plan will further support those goals, both at our schools and beyond.
*K-2 will continue to work with class sets of iPads, Chromebooks and other technology. The district recognizes that the younger students do not need the same access to technology and would certainly struggle with taking the devices home and back.