Chromebooks are personal computing devices that 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 device 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.
Freshmen and transfer students are required to purchase a school-issued Chromebook which includes the SJR management system and a 4 year accidental damage insurance policy. Incoming freshmen and transfer students receive their school-issued Chromebooks, SJR account information and passwords, during orientation in September.