The Future Ready team is on a mission to inspire and equip teachers with new ideas and new technology in order to transform learning for all students in the Beaverton School District.
Funded by a technology bond that was passed by Beaverton voters in 2014, BSD Future Ready continues to innovate in classrooms, transform libraries, and integrate technology to support better teaching and learning.
#REFLECT: A Journal of Instructional Innovation
Future Ready and Technology In School
Q: Why is every student being issued a Chromebook?
A: The Beaverton School District is pleased to offer our students individual access to Chromebooks in grades 6-12. The advantages provided by the access to digital resources available today outweigh the challenges. We believe that every student deserves to be empowered and inspired by tools, spaces, and educators that allow them to access the world's information, collaborate and create.
Q: Why was the Chromebook selected as the device of choice?
A: The Chromebook was selected due to it being a cost-effective and easy to manage device that allows our students to be able to access the world's information, collaborate and create content. Input was gathered at each secondary school to determine which device was preferred by the majority of secondary staff. Input was also gathered from students, IT staff and other districts. Tools are always changing and we are focusing on the instructional practice elements of incorporating student devices more than the device itself. We continually evaluate our device options as we consider future device purchases.
Q: Does this mean my child will be using his Chromebook throughout the school day?
A: Not necessarily. Teachers and students are encouraged to select the best tool for the job by finding ways in which the Chromebooks can help improve the learning experience.
Q: How will I be able to monitor my child's screen time?
A: We would encourage parents to consult this resource provided by Common Sense Media about these topics.
Q: Will instruction time for my child be reduced due to the additional instruction needed on how to use the Chromebook/iPad? How will my child be taught how to use the Chromebook/iPad?
A: While there will be an initial learning curve for using these devices, the intuitive experience these devices provide minimize the amount of time needed for this. Our focus will be on how children can better learn and engage using these tools knowing that they'll naturally become versed in use of the tools by using them regularly.
Q: When my child has after-school activities, how will they be able to secure their devices during their practice?
A: Each school will have a plan for directing students on how to safely store their device while at school.
Q: Will textbooks become obsolete with the use of these devices?
A: We will be moving towards more digital content when it is possible and when it enhances the learning experience.
Q: How can my child get internet access at home if we do not have internet service?
A: There are many programs available that offer low to no cost Internet services. Some internet providers provide low-cost options for families who qualify. Some schools have already begun to provide students with maps locating places around their schools that provide free wifi. Public libraries are an option for this.
Q: How is the district supporting the Future Ready effort?
A: The district is putting in place staff dedicated to supporting this endeavor with Library and Instructional Technology Teachers (LITTs) and Computer Support Technicians (CSTs) at each of the Future Ready schools. In addition, there are Innovation Strategists and District Librarians working with each of the schools. The district has committed funds to provide professional development options to staff to support Future Ready efforts.
Q: Will I still be using ParentVUE to view student records and grades?
A: Yes. Parents and students will still be accessing ParentVUE and StudentVUE for student records (such as attendance) and grades.
Q: What options are available to print from Chromebooks?
A: Printing will not be supported via the iPads and Chromebooks. These are consumption and collaboration devices and sharing of documents electronically is encouraged. Requirements for printing are cost prohibitive for a large number of devices planned for the district. As a workaround, printing can be done via Google Docs on a computer connected to a printer.
Q: Does the district have a plan to replace these devices at some point?
A: The district has a plan to replace these devices one time during the eight-year bond period.
Q: What is the plan for charging of devices at the schools?
A: Students are responsible for charging the devices that are assigned to them. Students will be assigned a charging cord with the expectations that they will bring their Chromebooks to school with enough battery power to last the school day. The Chromebooks have proven to have a very good battery life. Teachers, school administrators, and others will need to discuss how to handle students that do not charge their devices. Schools will be able to provide places to charge if needed.
Q: What is the expectation of the wireless network's support of thousands of devices?
A: The new wireless system supports tens of thousands of additional wireless devices on the network. This installation was finished in the summer of 2016.
Q: Will Chromebooks have internet filtering when at home or outside the BSD network?
A: Yes. Chromebooks have internet filtering when they are used at school and also when they connect through a home or other network.
Q: Are students required to check out a Chromebook?
A: No. Chromebooks checkout is optional. Schools will have a supply of Chromebooks available for students to use in individual classrooms as needed or students can bring their own device (BYOD) to use.
Q: Is there an opt-out form I can use to indicate that I don't want to check out a Chromebook?
A: No. If the school doesn't receive all of the required forms and the payment for the Chromebook Damage/Loss Program for whatever reason, we will assume the student is opting out of the Chromebook checkout.
Q: My child already has access to his own laptop computer. Can he bring this instead of checking out a Chromebook?
A: Yes. The Beaverton School District allows students to bring their personal devices (BYOD - Bring Your Own Device) to use on our guest network while on school grounds. Find out more by reading the BSD Responsible Use of Technology and BYOD Expectations and Guidelines document.
Q: What can you tell me about student email addresses?
A: Student email addresses are formatted with their student identification number and "@bsd48.org" (firstname.lastname@example.org).