Tag Archives: digital dreamers

Student Chromebooks – Update

In June 2017, the DeKalb Schools Board approved over $27 million for the purchase of a laptop, software and accessories for each and every DeKalb Schools student and teacher.

DeKalb Schools Vision of Technology
• Integrated technology solutions to enhance communication
• Equitable access to devices and robust wireless network
• Community engagement necessary to support a shift to a digital learning environment
• Multiple, deliberate and continuous opportunities to learn about technology for everyone

$20 Insurance
Insurance covers accidental damage due to defects, liquid and power. There is a $50 deductible for lost or stolen Chromebooks.
I’m getting mixed messages on who has to pay $20 and how often. I received a high school newsletter that said “The $20 payment is per student annually”. DeKalb Schools Chief Information Officer (CIO), Gary Brantley, told me that all students must pay the $20 to get a Chromebook except in extreme cases. He also mentioned that the rate of damaged Chromebooks is so low, the $20 will probably be a one time payment.
This is Mr. Brantley’s official written response,

Response from Gary Brantley: The $20 is not annual its initial only. Schools are asked to identify students who desire a device but are unable to afford the insurance. When those students are identified and communicated to the program manager provisions are made for the students to receive a device. Every student that desires a device will receive a device. We have cases where the student would prefer to use his/her own or where the parent has opted out completely.

Deployment Schedule (View Complete Schedule Here)
1/22/2018 – Dunwoody HS (Complete)
1/22/2018 – Peachtree MS (Complete)
1/23/2018 – Druid Hills HS (Complete)
1/24/2018 – Druid Hills MS (Complete)
1/29/2018 – Chamblee HS (Complete)
1/30/2018 – Chamblee MS (In Progress)
1/31/2018 – Lakeside HS (Not Started)
2/01/2018 – Henderson MS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Cross Keys HS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Sequoyah MS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Kittridge ES (6th Grade Only) (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Tucker HS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – Tucker MS (Not Started)
8/01/2018 – DeKalb School of the Arts (Not Started)

Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a blended learning platform developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.
It’s free and DeKalb Schools created user accounts for every teacher to use it … and use it they did. Numerous schools across the district adopted Google Classroom school-wide including Bethune MS, Kittredge ES, Barack Obama ES, Stone Mountain MS, Peachtree MS, Druid Hills MS.
The Google logins are used for these new devices, but DeKalb Schools is blocking the use of Google Classroom now. My understanding is that DeKalb Schools’ VERGE software suite is so bad, the district is doing everything it can force teachers to use it.
Gary Brantley insists VERGE is “acceptable” by all teachers.

Given the new one-to-one technology program, the district is finding itself in new cyber territory. I’m currently pushing the board and administration to revisit our technology policies to keep students safe while juggling privacy issues as advances in technology increase our ability to monitor students’ online at all hours.

Related Posts

Google Classroom Vs VERGE
September 8, 2017 – Can somebody help me understand why DeKalb Schools is blocking access to Google Classroom? Half a dozen schools in DeKalb adopted it school wide and it was just recently blocked by the school district with no warning.

Digital Dreamers
August 9, 2017 – Digital Dreamers is the code name for the rollout of laptops for each and every student and teacher in the district.

New Laptops For All DeKalb Teachers and Students
August 7, 2017 – DeKalb Schools has the 2nd highest millage rate in the state and a penny sales tax. This is how DeKalb Schools plans on evenly evenly distributing some of that money across the County.

DeKalb Schools Digital Dreamers

Digital Dreamers is the code name for the rollout of laptops for each and every student and teacher in the district.

In the first phase, over 25,000 Chromebooks were ordered and scheduled to arrive at elementary schools throughout the DeKalb County School District beginning June 19, 2017. DeKalb Schools has been busy removing over 7,400 legacy student computer workstations in labs, media centers and classrooms.
Once the Chromebook devices have been deployed, the support services staff, will visit each school location to configure the devices to access the DeKalb wireless network. These devices will enable schools to bridge the gap in the digital initiative for curriculum instruction and learning initiatives.
The new footprint will also afford school administration the ability to increase the volume of on-line standardized testing including Georgia Milestones for the 2017-2018 school year.

Stone Moutain ES is Ready

The Support Services team is busy completing the device verification and inventory of Chromebooks to all elementary schools as a part of the Digital Dreamers program. As of July 28 I.T. will deploy 20,262 Chromebook devices to 61 local sites.
With the return of educators on July 31 and students August 7, the school district is on target to complete the deployment by August 3, 2017.

IGNITE U is the district’s Three-Year Professional Development Plan that specifically addresses technology integration. The major goal of the Ignite U learning experiences is to provide wrap-around support for staff empowering them to integrate technology to support teaching and learning. During Years One and Two, the district would like to move employees from basic awareness of the technology tools to proficient integration of technology tools. Year Three is about expanding, strengthening, and sustaining this proficiency.
In order to assist with this task, DCSD’s Instructional Technology Department is developing FUSEs throughout the district. FUSE stands for Furthering Student Engagement and these are innovative teacher leaders who not only love technology, but will serve as ambassadors in their school for effective use.
This summer, a FUSE Advisory to solidify the District-Wide training plan for all FUSEs to start in August 2017.
The Instructional Technology Department is preparing to launch the second phase of IGNITE U district-wide. Last school year, the goal was to make teachers aware of the available digital tools. Now with the majority of staff aware, the next two years will focus on transitioning this awareness into integrating these tools into instruction.
Successful technology integration will be measured by implementing identified tasks with students. Although all teachers will be responsible for the same technology integration tasks, schools and teachers will be able to personalize how these are tasks are completed to fit his or her classroom. By 2019, our Digital Dreamers should be immersed in a new digital learning environment.