1:1 returns to WashingtonStudent and parent programs on Aug. 19 and 20
After completing the first year of the Washington School District’s 1:1 program, Washington High School teacher/librarian and 1:1 coordinator Joan Hippen said that she has been approached by other school districts for advice on beginning a similar program.
Hippen calls the first year of the program, which issues high school students a computer during the school year, a success. She said, after surveying teachers and students, the district is very pleased with the opportunities that each student having a personal computer offers. She said that the students appreciated being able to take notes on the computer rather than with the traditional pen and paper. Students were also able to complete different projects with computers. Hippen said that using the video-creation software and multi-media software to create reports was popular among students.
“They liked the variety and different ways they could present their ideas to their teachers,” Hippen said. “A lot of times, the teachers would give the students a choice of how to relay the information to them.”
With the beginning of the school year quickly approaching, Hippen said that she is getting the district’s 500 computers ready for the students. She said, like last year, there would be informational programs held for parents and students. The programs will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 19 for incoming juniors and seniors, and on Aug. 20 for incoming freshmen and sophomores. She said that parents and students are required to be at one of the programs for the student to be issued a computer. An informational letter is going out to parents later this week.
During the programs, principal Erik Buchholz will address the students and parents about computer use. Washington Police Sgt. Shawn Ellingson will give a presentation on social networks and computer safety. The students will then go to advisory teachers and sign the paperwork. The students will pick up their MacBook laptop computers in the gym. Hippen said that returning students would get the same computer they had last year. Freshmen will need to go through the setup process.
During the last year, Hippen said that some of the computers were damaged and were sent to the company to be fixed. She said about 70 computers had damage that required the company to make repairs. She said none of the computers were damaged beyond repair. Students who have computers with damage to them can be charged up to $100 for the first instance; up to $250 for the second instance; and up to the cost of the computer for the third. There was one incident when a computer had to be sent in twice last year.
“Obviously we would like the number of damaged computers to be lower, but it is right on target with what other districts that are 1:1 have told us,” Hippen said.
Students who owe money for repairs won’t be allowed to check out a computer the following year until the bill is paid, Hippen said. For graduating seniors, she said, they won’t be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies if they have an outstanding debt.
Much of the damage came from dropping the computers. Hippen said that teachers will emphasize being careful with computers. Also, Hippen said, this year students won’t be allowed to carry computers in anything other than the case issued with the computer.
Last year about 15 students opted out of the program. Hippen said those students signed their computers in and out during the school day and the computer never left campus.
Another lesson that will be emphasized this year is one of the importance of digital citizenship. Hippen said that students will be taught copyright laws and plagiarism from online when doing an assignment.