Chromebooks can Raise Academic Achievements continued….

In the previous Blog, Dr. Reissman shared some of the ongoing research meta-analysis of studies which examine the extent to which use of Chromebooks can raise academic achievement, student engagement, student technology user and proactive self development/SEL skills.  While as responsible school administrators, educators, community and parents, examining the research to confirm the authenticity and meaningfulness of Chromebook use with students, as persons and as student centered educators, nothing can testify more to the power of the Chromebook for transforming students’ loves than the observations of Chromebooks use effect on a given set of students.

In Denver, Colorado, Executive Director of the Sun Valley Center, Kris Rollerson, who runs the inner city after school facility bubbles with enthusiasm as she shares photos and videos of her multi-ethnic- refugee children from Somalia, Ethiopia, Vietnam and a host of other immigrant families- who after attending inner city public schools spend valued time at her 18-year-old award winning youth center.  These English Second Language Learners, of course face multiple challenges of English language acquisition, economic straits, cultural consonance and acculturation, cultural affirmation and of course getting time and access to technology.

Ms. Rollerson recognized that supplying students with individual or at least paired (she has 50 students) access to personalized technology with Internet/Google was key.  But how with a very small budget for equipment and the inevitable “dropping”/”breaking” of such equipment by eager students thrilled to have a “chance to use their own chromebooks , was she to do that?  Plus how was she to help her student center population with gaining English Language Acquisition so they could test to their chronological grade levels not several grades below in reading and in mathematics because of their onset second language deficiencies.  Iready a software tool offered individual assessment and personalized learning benchline tests for students and aligned her mostly elementary students to progress several grades within a few months.  Ms. Rollerson found the funds to purchase a few dollar subscriptions for students   to this software.  But she did not have ipads for them.  Then she purchased a few Chromebooks to support their personalized reading and mathematics literacy improvement.

Among the flaws of other tools Ms. Rollerson had used with her students, was the critical literal “breaking drop,” that moment all educators who deal with students and many adults recognize when a valued Chromebook is dropped and broken for good (the student user’s personal disaster “Bad”).

But as Ms. Rollerson noticed Sector 5 Chromebooks were built to last and bounced back in tact from drops.  They were rugged and better yet, they were easily linked and controlled by the teacher/manager without depending on a costly external tech employee.  If students messed up or went to sites not permitted 3 buttons could return them to Safe terrain.  Plus the kids were excited to share the Chromebooks, as Rollerson made the 10 she could afford shared by 20 students who also immediately authenticated 21st Century Collaboration and Collegiality.  Even better the iready software used with durable ready to in a few seconds Sector 5 Chromebooks, raised some students scores three to five grades in a 6 months.  This assessment was backed up by the individual student tracking software and the teacher’s ability to monitor data from all the individual Chromebook users plus as value added the Denver City schools’ own standardized reading and math assessments of the students.  For Rollerson and her ESL students at Sun Valley Center in Denver, the case for Chromebook use as the digital community and personalized tool for individual reading and mathematics second language acquisition has been made and won!!  Rollerson next wants to taps Chromebook capacities for engaging her ESL learners in intercultural entrepreneurial and photographic research with video and audio as well as community connected conversations.  The book on Chromebook usage has just been opened with infinite project based learning on the Sun Valley Center horizon.  To learn more contact Kris Rollerson (sunvalleyyouthcenter@gmail.com).

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