Technology in HPSD
When I first heard that Hanover schools would provide computers to all high school students, I had a healthy dose of skepticism. But the more I learned, the less I worried.
I read up about the Chromebooks, which seem to focus more on Internet access powered by Google’s own office suite to enhance productivity. I talked to some educators outside the area (and state) who had experience or knowledge of projects like this. And I saw the video presentation the district posted on its website.
I’m sure others felt the same at first, and if you still do and don’t agree with my current opinion, you can go to the first in a series of educational technology seminars hosted by the district. I don’t disagree with these kinds of initiatives on the face. I just didn’t know if the one proposed made sense when I first heard about it.
This Thursday, you can learn about the district’s technology curriculum and goals and learn more about how they use Google Docs/Drive as well as the new Google Chromebook computers which high school students received last week. The event is at 6:30 at Washington Elementary and is the first of five focusing on different technology issues within HPSD. I’m going to this first one and maybe others and recommend people check out what Becky Conover, who teaches computers and keyboarding in the elementary and middle schools, has to say.
I guess one of my bigger concerns was that these computers would be redundant for students who already have a tablet or laptop. The Bring Your Own Device Initiative in Hanover has opened up this kind of access for students over the past year.
So I guess focusing on a device which leverages something the district already uses (Google Docs – now called Google Drive, but I like the old name – is used extensively by students, teachers and administrators) makes sense even if some of the students won’t initially use the Chromebook. If they work as easily as people say, students might change their mind much like office workers adapt to the technology they have in the office even when they prefer something else at home.
Regardless, the fact that the district is putting on five nights to cover everything from this new program to general online safety really shows that this isn’t a fly-by-night program. I hope others come out out to learn more just like I intend to.