NC district deploys 30K Chromebooks in middle schools
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina expects its rollout of 30,000 Google Chromebooks for middle schoolers to wrap up in March.
- The Chromebook rollout, which began in November, comes on the heels of the district's completion of a two-year initiative to make sure all classrooms — in and out of school buildings — have WiFi connectivity.
- The district got the laptops at a special price of $220, with those for the initial 12 schools in the program paid for with $1.6 million in federal Race to the Top funding, and the rest being paid for using county money, eSchool News reports.
It seems like only yesterday when the iPad was the focus of similar rollout stories. The Chromebook's increasing presence in classrooms further highlights Google's growing dominance in the K-12 space since overtaking Apple's tablets last year.
Perhaps particularly noteworthy in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg rollout, students don't take the laptops home with them, as is often the case in school device rollouts. They are instead required to turn them back in to be recharged at the end of the school day. It may be safe to say in that case that the district isn't yet supporting any blended or flipped classroom environments, since there's no guarantee that a student would have a computer, tablet, or other device readily available at home to view instructional videos and other class materials.
Still, the district has had a BYOD device policy since January 2014, according to eSchool News. And students who do have devices at home that they can work on are able to upload the file to a server so they can access it at a later date. In addition to making WiFi available in and out of the school (some have mobile classrooms that aren't located inside of the building itself) and making Chromebooks available, the district also purchased new digital science and social studies textbooks.
For a closer look at home Chromebooks can be used in the classroom, check out our feature.
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