Goochland County Public Schools provides a computing device to every student in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. This initiative is founded in our belief that computers are bicycles for the mind and empower students to amplify their efforts toward deeper learning.
SY 2018-19 Deployment Details
Information for Parents
- Viewing Your Child’s Test Results with PowerSchool PowerTest
Students will be setting a passcode and an optional fingerprint to unlock their iPads. We believe this develops a best practice in terms of digital citizenship and responsibility. Our intent is not to lock out parents from using the iPad. We will encourage your child to share their passcode with you and you too may set up Apple’s TouchID to set a fingerprint on the iPad.
iPads new to students will come with a charger and cord. These are not covered in the repair program. They will also come with a cover. The cover should not be removed at any time—unless the device becomes drenched in liquid. If that happens, the device should be removed and wiped off and placed in an absorbent material such as rice. Please report incidents to us as soon as possible.
iPad should be charged nightly at home and chargers should remain at home.
The MacBook Air laptops come with a base install of software and can be customized to student needs throughout the year. The MacBooks will come with a hard shell case which should never be removed. They come with a barcode sticker that should never be removed. They will come with a soft zip case which should not be removed. The strap may be removed. The zipped case was designed so that the laptop can be used while it is open.
Chargers should stay at home.
Students may borrow a charger at school to use the Fuyl cell charging centers in the library.
It’s our expectation that MacBooks come to school each day charged.
Wifi and Online Access
We realize all parents do not have wireless access at home. For some, the wireless connectivity is limited in terms of bandwidth. We will cover with your child how to take their device offline to conserve bandwidth.
While homework may be assigned with an intent to use our loaned devices, homework will not require internet access. Students may turn-in work digitally when they return to school.
More information and tips for parents
We like to think of having a device at school like using a bike to get around your neighborhood. A bike might help us get somewhere faster, and be able to cover more ground in a given time. A similar efficiency is brought about with technology when it’s used to learn. The real magic, however, isn’t the device, it’s what is done with the devices. Goochland has invested hours of training for staff on how to approach learning differently when a device like the iPad is available throughout the day. We call this approach deeper learning.
How might deeper learning help my child? We know to be academically successful that students need to be engaged with their learning. This means we have to meet kids where they are, designing instructional experiences that play off what we know about neuroscience (how the brain works and learns), the psychology of children, and how students learn best in both collaborative and independent situations. As it turns out, there are a lot of tools out there today that can help us with that task. We want to know what students know before we start a new lesson or unit. We want to know how students are progressing as they are learning. And we want to keep the student at the center of the picture for our learning environments, giving students voice and choice in what, and how they collaborate with peers.
Deeper learning keeps students engaged because when it’s done well, we are catering to both a student’s desire and needs for learning.
What kinds of apps, services, and tools will be used as part of the 1:1 program? We are using a variety of tools and services. As of August, 2016, the following list details some of the tools and services we are using:
- Apple Classroom Manager – this allows teachers to observe and direct iPad usage during instruction in the classroom through the Internet. (New for SY 2016-17)
- JAMF Casper – this is the “brain” that manages our iPad inventory, assigns apps to individual student and teacher iPads, and controls policies for how each iPad is used and what it is allowed to do.
- Schoology – this is our learning management platform, and it’s also an app on student devices. It allows teachers to grade assignments, to assign quizzes, create discussion groups for students, and engage parents with communication.
- Google Drive and Apps Suite – We use Google services for student e-mail in grades 9-12. For younger students, they will store files such as documents, movies, and photos in their Google Drive account. In addition, students use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides to create and collaborate together.
- Assessment Software Beyond Schoology, teachers may use Socrative, Kahoot, MAP, PowerTest, or Quizlet to assess student progress. Pearson’s TestNAV software now works on the iPad too, to support eSOL testing.
- ST Math – JiJi the penguin is the star in this ground-breaking product to support mathematics instruction in grades K-5. Our 1:1 students will have JiJi on their iPads. (New for SY 2016-17)
- BookCreator – students can create their own .epub electronic books using this app on the iPad. Student books can be shared online for others to read.
- ExplainEverything – this app allows students to manipulate media on the screen in real time, while recordings are made that can include voice and video. These resulting “projects” can be exported as movie files to demonstrate understanding of concepts.
- iMovie – Apple’s iMovie software allows for recording and editing of HD video. Students can author their own videos and movies using this powerful editing tool.
- LightSail – this e-reader platform allows students to choose their own books from a library of online titles, and while students are reading, their progress as readers is evaluated updating their scores (Lexile levels). This program will be overseen by our librarians serving students in grades 3-8.
My child will be receiving a device for the first time this year. What do I need to know? iPads will be passed out at school but we are planning parent nights at our school focused on 1:1 devices, Schoology, and internet safety.
Younger students, we have found, need guidance at home from parents on how to manage time with the device. We recommend setting boundaries for when the iPad or Macbook is used. We also recommend that the iPad be charged nightly in an area of the home supervised by parents. Students will need their devices at school each day, so it goes in the backpack when they come to school. The charger and cord can stay at home.
Students will be directed to not share their iPads or MacBooks with siblings. Students may elect to share iPads with parents. We plan to release some videos for parents later this year that will help parents who are interested learn more about the iPad, in addition to the associated software and services we are using. Talk to your school’s principal about how to participate.
Students will have a credential to access some services, and that includes a Google account. The password for this account should be a secret. Students will also be encouraged to set a passcode on their iPads. We will tell students they may share this secret with teachers, parents, but no one else.
Students will not be spending their entire school day on a device. Daily use of the iPad or MacBook will vary by teacher, and by day. We believe in a healthy balance for how we learn, which includes a variety of teaching and learning strategies. Some learning will take place on the iPads, and some will be facilitated by the iPads, and there will be a lot of learning that doesn’t involve the iPad at all!
Can we load our apps or software from home on the devices? At this time, the devices are fully managed by the school division, and because of that, outside apps cannot be installed.
History of Goochland’s 1:1 Computing
During the 2013-14 school year, Goochland County Public Schools launched a one-to-one computing pilot at Goochland Elementary School across grades 3-5. In November of that year, we held an iPad Learning Exhibition to highlight some of the types of activities we had engaged students with, using the new iPads.
Our pilot was designed to allow us to try some different things in the classroom, testing apps, figuring out deployment strategies with iPads and configuration, in addition to gathering feedback from, and providing training to, our teachers at GES. We have used this first year of implementation (in our plan called Year 0) to fine-tune our objectives and prepare for a wider distribution across more of our schools.
1:1 programs are not new in education. Dr. Seymour Papert, a visionary theorist and math professor, envisioned a 1:1 environment as early as 1980 in American schools with the rise at the time of personal computers. Henrico County Public School’s laptop initiative in 2001 was among the first major deployments of computers to students in a public setting in the U.S. Since that time, the advances in mobile computing technology and price have allowed more and more school districts to embrace one-to-one scenarios, either through the use of laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks. Other schools are exploring alternatives to purchased technology, with “bring your own device” scenarios. After many years of success here in Goochland of integrating technology into our instructional program, we felt it was time to take advantage of new, promising technology with iPads, and to provide students access to new opportunities in deeper learning across the curriculum.
Apple Distinguished Schools
For 2017-2019, four of Goochland’s Schools—Goochland Elementary, Goochland Middle, Byrd Elementary, and Randolph Elementary—have been named Apple Distinguished Schools. Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.
This school year (2017-18) nearly completes our 1:1 long-range plan. This year beyond the 3-8 iPads and 9-12 MacBooks, we will be providing iPads to first and second grade classrooms for a 1-12 1:1. Kindergarten students, too, alongside our preschool students, will have access to shared technology in the buildings.
We know from the research and our own experience at GES that a one-to-one program supports increased student engagement with learning, opportunities for deeper learning where we can provide and deliver more personalized learning for students, and better opportunities for assessment of student growth. Over time we expect to see a shift in our instructional approach with more student-centered, project-based learning.
For more information on our 1:1 program and instructional technology, check out our Future Ready webpage.