A Chromebook is a laptop computer running Google’s Chrome operating system (OS). Chromebooks start up quickly, are less expensive to purchase than traditional laptops, have a long battery life, and are not susceptible to most computer viruses. Due to these
features, Chromebooks have become the primary laptop computers used in U.S. public schools.
The first round of Chromebook distributions for participating MyTech schools began in Fall 2017. Each student at participating grades/schools will receive a Chromebook to use during the school year, both at school and at home. The teachers participating in the MyTech program will also receive Chromebooks. The MyTech program will focus on schools serving students in grades 6-12 and the primary supported classes for the first year will be Language Arts and Social Studies.
Chromebooks are relatively easy-to-use computing devices that most students will quickly master. However, all students will be provided an orientation session when they receive their Chromebooks to help them get started. And their teachers will also be trained on Chromebook use, and will assist their students in learning to use these new tools.
Chromebooks have only a small hard drive with limited storage capacity and they only run web-based applications, therefore they have the most functionality when connected to the internet. Chromebooks can still be used when not connected to the internet, but in a somewhat limited capacity. If the homework assignment requires using one of the Google Apps, such as Documents, Sheets or Slides, students can use a portable USB flash drive to save their work until they can sync it up when they’re re-connected to the Internet.
There are several low-cost home internet options for DPS families to consider. Eligible low-income households can apply for a monthly discount on wireless phone service through the Lifeline program.
Digital online file-sharing between teachers and students is one of the great advantages of the Chromebooks and is an easy and efficient way for the distribution and retrieval of student assignments without printing. Using these digital file-sharing also saves on printer paper and supplies. Google Drive, Schoology and other district-supported systems provide digital alternatives for submitting student assignments, so printers are generally not required. If needed, documents or projects can be saved to a student’s Google Drive and downloaded onto a PC with access to a printer.
DPS has partnered with a technology service provider to ensure our selection of approved Chromebooks meet the district’s current specifications. Chromebook specifications, configuration and storage capacity will change over time as new hardware and software is released.
Students and parents/guardians will be responsible for DPS-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other DPS-owned items, such as textbooks, calculators, musical instruments, athletics equipment or library books. DPS will repair or replace the Chromebook, but students and parents may be responsible for the cost.
Damaged or non-functioning Chromebooks should be given to the school’s Technology Representative so a repair can be started. Many problems can be repaired at the school by district staff, which may take a day or two. Other problems may require the Chromebook to be sent out for repair, which can take several days or longer. Schools will have additional Chromebooks on-hand to loan to students in these circumstances.