More than 1,325 teachers and students in the Brewster Central School District have received a Chromebook over the past five days, fulfilling an integral part of the district’s Strategic Technology Plan. The district’s vision is quickly becoming a reality, and the enthusiasm around ubiquitous access is palpable! Today it took less than 90 minutes for more than 450 middle school students to pick up and configure their devices in the auditorium. “It was busy, but the process went very smoothly and the roll out was a great success,” said Peter LaMoreaux, the district’s instructional technology specialist. WMS Principal John Clark agreed, adding, “I think the collaboration was incredible. Everyone stepped up, pitched in, and got it done.”
The NYS Smart Schools Bond Act funded the purchase of a Chromebook for every teacher and every student in grades 6-12. During the 18 months leading up to the rollout, there were many professional learning opportunities for teachers, a district-wide move to G-Suite (formerly Google Apps for Education), a broad implementation of Google Classroom, and a summer learning week for teachers that focused on strategies for using technology to thoroughly engage students in their learning. Teachers in all schools have participated in professional learning activities including skills based workshops (how to use the various hardware and online tools) as well as powerful ways ubiquitous technology can change learning opportunities in the classroom and beyond. Using the SAMR Model as a framework, district staff and outside experts have worked with teachers on unit and lesson design, as well as strategies for increasing student engagement, collaboration, and achievement. The overall model is tightly aligned with the district’s Strategic Coherence Plan.