Chromebooks Rolled Out at Frost and JFK

Chromebooks Rolled Out at Frost and JFK

A Deer Park initiative recently provided fifth-graders at JFK and sixth- and seventh-graders at Frost with Chromebooks – for use both in school and out – following the completion of a major technology infrastructure upgrade achieved as part of the state’s Smart School project. On Jan. 18, the Chromebooks were rolled out at Frost, following a rollout earlier that week at JFK.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the students in grades five, six and seven,” said Christopher Kauter, the district’s instructional technology administrator.  “We are looking forward to the blended learning instruction that the teachers will be performing.”

On the heels of the tech upgrade, the district had also embarked on a comprehensive shift to the blended learning model, in which the most valuable learning strategies are first identified, and then instructional technology devices and resources are used as tools to make the strategies more efficient and increase the learning experience for students. This blended environment will promote improved performance and rigorous academic standards.

The assessment of these learning strategies is based on work by researcher and educator John Hattie, who took numerous surveys and research from hundreds of school districts around the world and quantified a value-added number for each strategy. Among the most successful strategies the district is focusing on – many which Deer Park teachers have been using for years – are self-assessment, reciprocal teaching, concept mapping, problem-solving teaching, vocabulary strategies, direct instruction, interactive video, spaced vs. mass practice, peer tutoring, questioning and worked examples. Tech software and programs on hand include Castle Learning, CodeMonkey, EDpuzzle, Explain Everything, G Suite, Pear Deck, Poll Everywhere, Soundtrap and WeVideo.

“Blended learning is not just digital learning or traditional learning, but a blend of the two,” Kauter said. “What we want to do is take these learning strategies that the research shows are successful and work in a traditional classroom environment and merge them together with the Chromebooks and instructional software we have.”