The William S. Hart Union High School District is increasing the number of Chromebook devices students use in class to nearly 15,300, part of a plan to have 23,000 devices – one for every student in the District – in two years.
An objective of Common Core in California is to have technology involved in all subject areas. Couple that with the state’s decision to change student performance testing from STAR to the computer-based CAASPP assessment, and the need for more devices to help students was born.
“Four or five years ago a pilot program was rolled out in the Hart District to see what it would be like to have devices in mobile carts that could be brought into the classroom,” said Jon Carrino, Director of Technology Services for the Hart School District. “Initially it was only English and a couple other classes were using them. It really worked well.”
Since that pilot program, more and more devices have been purchased and brought into the schools, with the goal of having one device for every student in the district to be achieved in the 2018/2019 school year.
“We are going to have over 23,000 devices,” Carrino said. “Some Fortune 500 companies don’t have that. When you add a staff of 2,000 connected with devices as well, you get a very large network. Yet we’ve been able to add the devices without adding IT staff.”
The Hart School District Governing Board has approved a plan for funding to continuously refresh devices in the years ahead to keep up with technological advances. But more importantly, the funding for devices helps the District prepare students for the 21st century workplace in college and beyond.
“I think this is wonderful,” said Joe Messina, Hart School District Governing Board member. “It’s been a long time coming. Mr. Carrino has done an excellent job in making sure our students are ready to meet the challenges of a new type of work force in a new type of work environment. These devices will allow our young men and women to work with and access the resources they will be using once they leave our district. I’m very excited at the progress we have made in this area.”