Chromebooks are personal computing devices which use the browser-based Google Chrome operating system to access the Internet and educational applications. This low cost, affordable option combines the functionality of a traditional laptop with the easy accessibility of a cloud-based environment. The Chromebook management console allows teachers and administrators to control what students can access on their devices and gives them the opportunity to share apps and maintain the focus on learning while lessening outside distractions. The addition of these tablet devices into the day-to-day activities of the classroom helps increase student understanding, encourages collaboration, and accommodates different learning styles, While many tablets/laptops exist today, it was decided that adding an affordable, teacher-managed devices with an actual keyboard would be most beneficial for the SJR community.
The decision to move to a Chromebook environment began with a lot of research about schools, technology programs, devices, and infrastructure. Saint Joseph Regional High School rolled out its one-to-one Google Chromebook program in September 2015, however, the beginning of SJR’s transformation to a Chromebook environment actually began earlier with the purchase of sixty devices, thirty on each of two carts located on both floors of the building. By introducing the Chromebooks carts during the 2014-15 school year, teachers had the opportunity to get acclimated to the devices, and received personalized Google training while adopting technology best practices for using 1:1 devices in the classroom with their students
When enrolling in SJR parents must purchase a school-issued Chromebook for a one-time expense of about $475, a cost that will include the device itself, the SJR management system, and a 4 year accidental insurance policy. Incoming freshmen receive their school-issued chromebooks, SJR account information, passwords, and instructions during their first cycle of STEAM. Transfer students will receive devices and instructions at a date and time TBA during the first full week of school in September.