Chromebooks at MacArthur
Every MacArthur student in grades four and five, with parent permission, is given a Chromebook for classroom use to promote blended learning. Blended learning is the deliberate connection of educational technology with face-to-face instruction to enhance and personalize a deep and meaningful curriculum.
Chromebooks and cases are distributed during the first quarter of the school year. With 1:1 access, teachers can more readily include assignments such as digital collaboration, simulations, virtual field trips and the creation of multimedia projects into their classroom instruction.
Students may take their chromebook home when they have an assignment that needs to be completed. Before they are allowed to take them home students participate in lessons designed by MacArthur’s Technology Integration Specialist, Sara Petretich, using Common Sense Media resources that cover topics such as appropriate use, online safety, cyber bullying, digital footprints and privacy.
Some of the reasons Chromebooks were selected include their affordability and usability in the K-5 environment. Chromebooks are economical, allowing the division to expand student access without increasing the budget. These cloud-based devices can be used as a traditional laptop or touch tablet. Student work created on Chromebooks can be accessed from any device in or out of school. Chromebooks support Goal 1 of the ACPS Technology Plan: To create student-centered, technology-rich learning environments that provide for academic excellence and educational equity by encouraging creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.
MacArthur students use the Asus C100 Flip Chromebook model. This device is touch-enabled with the ability to have the screen flip and be used as a tablet device. Students receive a case to protect their Chromebook and carry it throughout school. It is highly recommended they keep their chromebook in its case when not in use.
Accessibility features on the Chromebook include High Contrast Mode, Screen Readers, Larger Mouse, and an On Screen Keyboard. Accessibility features can be turned on and off at any time in the Chromebook settings. To access the settings:
- Click on the profile picture in the lower right corner of the Chromebook and choose “Settings”.
- Scroll down and select “Show Advanced Settings”.
- Scroll down to “Accessibility” and check the box beside any of the Accessibility features that you want to enable. To disable, uncheck the box.
Students can personalize their Chromebook as long as it can be removed at the end of the year. Changing their desktop image is an example of personalization. A student should not put stickers on their Chromebook that may damage the finish.
Student devices are stored in locked carts every night and charged nightly. Students need to monitor and are responsible for charging their device when not being used at school. Students who do not have enough charge to complete their work or have a damaged chromebook may use a student laptop on a teacher-approved temporary basis. Laptops are not allowed to be taken home, but may be used at school until the device is charged or repaired.
Flash is built into the Chrome browser and will update automatically with the Chrome updates. Java and Microsoft Silverlight will not function on the Chromebooks since these are installed plugin software programs.
Students have access to a dedicated printer at their school. Given the cloud-based nature of Chromebooks, the need to print is significantly lower than with traditional PC computers.
About Google Classroom
Students in grades three through five have the opportunity to use Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) G-Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education), a collection of online tools that provide access to ACPS maintained and monitored Google Docs and ACPS gmail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ACPS takes security and privacy of student information very seriously. ACPS Google Apps is not accessible by anyone outside of the ACPS Google domain, so students are able to work and collaborate in a safe and secure online environment.
ACPS Google Apps are a valuable instructional tool.
- Students have easy access to their documents (Docs), spreadsheets (Sheets), and presentations (Slides) within Google Drive. These files are available at home, at school and on any web-enabled device.
- Teachers can use Google Classroom to communicate information, post assignments, facilitate discussions and group projects, etc. Since multiple students can be working on a file at one time, collaboration is easy and trackable. Students will also be able to collaborate on documents and presentations at different times and in different physical locations.
- Teachers will be able to give feedback to students directly in documents your student has shared with a teacher.
- Students can log in to their ACPS Google account at home and show what they are currently working on in class, as well as items that have been “turned in” and commented on by the teacher.
- Using these tools will give students essential computer and collaboration skills that will be beneficial during their ACPS school career and in their collegiate and working world lives.
Students’ students.apcs.k12.va.us account will work only within our secured ACPS Google environment. It will not allow them to send or receive email outside of our “walled garden.” Parents will not be able to email their student at their students.acps.k12.va.us account, nor will they be able to email parents.
ACPS Technology Services
Learn more about technology in the classroom on the ACPS Technology Services webpage.