Students in Roseville Community Schools will each be getting a laptop or tablet computer to aid them in their studies until they graduate. The new equipment was tested with select classes since the school year began, and all students will be receiving their devices in the new year.

Students in Roseville Community Schools will each be getting a laptop or tablet computer to aid them in their studies until they graduate. The new equipment was tested with select classes since the school year began, and all students will be receiving their devices in the new year.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Roseville implements 1-to-1 laptop program

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 13, 2019

 Advanced Placement U.S. history students Serenity Debose-Franklin and Alonzo Silar demonstrate some of the devices being added at Roseville High School as part of the district’s new 1-to-1 technology program.

Advanced Placement U.S. history students Serenity Debose-Franklin and Alonzo Silar demonstrate some of the devices being added at Roseville High School as part of the district’s new 1-to-1 technology program.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Advertisement

ROSEVILLE — After the new year, Roseville Community Schools formally will roll out its 1-to-1 laptop program, which will grant each student in the district a laptop or tablet to aid in their studies.

The funding for the project came from the bond measure that was approved by Roseville voters in 2018. Each student in grades three through 12 will receive an HP laptop, including a charger and carrying case, while students in grades K-2 will receive an iPad, charger and protective case. The district distributed a handful of the devices in the fall as part of a pilot program to work out the kinks in the new initiative in preparation for the remainder of students getting their devices in January.

“These laptops are for both the kids and staff, who will be able to take them and use them at home for educational use only,” said Assistant Superintendent Dave Rice. “Once they have them, our intent is to let them keep them over the summer because we can update them over that time. This will help summer school students, and our hope is that we can still help them in their learning over the summer. This way, they can keep them until they graduate at the end of their senior year.”

Samantha Jordan, an instructional coach and Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher at Roseville High School, led the pilot program with the new technology at the high school. Her AP U.S. history students were the first to receive their new devices. She said the results have thus far been overwhelmingly positive.

“So far, we’ve had a really good response,” said Jordan. “The students are excited with what’s going on, and it’s allowing us to open up a lot of new venues for them.”

Administrators said the devices have a variety of uses in a wide range of situations.

“The specific use of the devices will vary by class and age — elementary students won’t be doing the same things as high school students, for instance,” said Rice. “This will allow them to connect with the smartboards within the classroom and display what is on their laptop on the board and vice versa. Instead of giving out paper copies of assignments or notices or tests, they can do this on the laptops.”

Educators in the Roseville district anticipate that using the new devices will provide numerous benefits for students and streamline their responsibilities.

“One of the greatest benefits is that students have all the materials they need already in place,” said Jordan. “They don’t have to worry about textbooks or if they have enough paper. They can access everything they need if they are sick at home. Students get faster feedback on assignments, because a lot of things self-grade. Students can collaborate better on things, and for students who may not have this technology at home, they are able to take the technology home with them so they always have that connection to the school.”

“This all allows us to get results faster, because it’s all digital and not graded by hand,” added Rice. “Teachers can use a learning management system called ‘Schoology’ to notify students or distribute material to students and parents. They can better engage students by linking their laptops directly with the board at the front of the class.”

The new technology will mean additional responsibilities for students, since they will need to keep the expensive equipment in good condition, but Rice said this is no different than other school resources already put into the trust of students.

“It is a responsibility for them. We do hand out other expensive things to students, be it hundreds of dollars of textbooks, sports equipment, band instruments and more,” he said. “While this seems like a big-ticket item for a student, this is something they have handled in the past. We think this will become part of the ordinary student experience over time. We would rather offer up the responsibility to our school community and show them they can take advantage of them. We think the benefits outweigh any risks.”

He did add that the school will work with students if they damage the equipment, and families can opt out of using the devices at any time.

“There would be a damage and replacement schedule; the parents sign off on this when they get the device, unless the student is 18 years old, in which case they can sign off themselves,” Rice said. “Families are allowed to turn down the use of these devices if they don’t want that responsibility. Devices would still be available to those students inside the school in those cases though.”

Jordan said she is impressed with how well the new program has worked so far.

“It will be very impactful for students. It gives us opportunities we never had before,” she remarked. “Some of the advantages that really shined in the pilot program was students being able to access information for a class anytime and anywhere. There are so many more ways I’ve seen that we can help students. There is an immersive reading tool, which will help students who may have trouble reading. It can have large blocks of text blocked off or read to them to assist the students.”

As for disadvantages with the program, Jordan said the only real problem that she has encountered is that sometimes new technology can be less reliable.

“Sometimes you can have a great idea and the technology can fall flat, and you have to go with plan B,” she said. “You have to be flexible as a teacher and find your footing when adjusting to these new tools.”

Rice added that computer use in education is becoming less elective and more of a necessity. Adopting a program such as this one may no longer be optional.

“Ultimately, when we live in a world of high-stakes testing and so much information being out there and moving so fast, we think this will help them in their learning and be able to open up doors. This will engage them more and help them connect with their learning in new ways,” he said. “It prepares students for college and the workforce. There is more technology being used every day, and we want everything to be able to flow to make that transition better, and this technology will help with that.”

Advertisement