Learning is meant to be a social and collaborative process. Other devices that we evaluated were designed to be individual devices and didn’t foster collaboration like Chromebooks.
Amherst Central Schools wanted to introduce tools to empower students and staff to collaborate and share ideas across classroom and grade levels, both at school and when working from home. The schools also needed a new email platform for students and teachers because their previous system was clunky.
In 2010 Amherst Central Schools chose Gmail as its email system and introduced G Suite for Education for all students and teachers. Shortly thereafter, the district launched a device pilot program and rolled out Chromebooks districtwide. Today classrooms for grades 3-12 are outfitted with Chromebook carts with one device for every student. The combination of G Suite for Education and Chromebooks encourage students to collaborate and work in teams and allow teachers to share resources and best practices. Currently, about 70 percent of the district has a 1:1 Chromebook environment. The district’s goal is to introduce a 1:1 model districtwide by fall 2018, with pre K-2 using Google Play for Edu Samsung tablets and grades 3-12 using Chromebooks.