Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

An Easier Path to 1:1

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

An Easier Path to 1:1

Article excerpt

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Desert Sands Unified School District in southern California has made a flying start on its 1:1 initiative aimed at facilitating online assessments and imparting students with 21st century skills, thanks to Samsung Chromebooks.

Dr. George Araya, Director of Educational Technology for Desert Sands USD in southern California, gets clearly excited when he talks about the district's new 1:1 initiative. "We're creating an environment that will provide all of our 30,000 students with the 21st Century skills that will help them advance in higher education and in the job market," he says.

Planning for the district's 1:1 initiative began more than three years ago. At that time, the district had two main objectives.

"First," says Dr. Araya, "we wanted to focus more on students learning than teachers teaching." To do that, district administrators knew they would need to change the traditional teacher-centric educational model to one that was more collaborative and self-directed.

Secondly, the district wanted to make sure students were prepared to take the new Common Core online assessment tests called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASP). "With CAASP coming up" Dr. Araya explains, "we felt it was critical for us to give students practice every day with the same device they'll use for the assessments."

According to Dr. Araya, the only way the district could accomplish those goals was if they could provide all students with a computing device, but at the time this appeared to be an impossible task. "The cost of a laptop or desktop for every student--plus software, various license fees, and maintenance--would have been prohibitive," says Dr. Araya.

Today, however, the district is well on their way to achieving their 1:1 goal, thanks to Common Core funding and the Samsung Chromebook. …

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