Last year Revere High School Principal Dr. Jonathan Perella was getting a lot of feedback from teachers and students that the Google Chrome Books they were assigned were hardly being used.
“Most of our juniors and seniors were not utilizing the ChromeBooks we were making available,” said Perella. “They would take one or receive one, bring it home, keep it in their room for the school year and then return it at the end of the year. It was like we were pushing a device on them.”
Each student at Revere High is guaranteed a ChromeBook for things like researching assignments, completing work or papers on Google Docs or Google Classroom and taking standardized tests.
However Perella said most students were more comfortable using their own devices for this work.
So last year Perella and Revere High launched a pilot program dubbed Bring Your Own Device or BYOD among seniors.
The pilot program allowed seniors who wanted to use their own devices for everything except standardized testing where ChromeBooks were still required. Seniors who wanted to continue using ChromeBooks still had the option.
At last week’s School Committee meeting Perella said the school will expand the program next school year to include juniors.
“We want to take the success of the BYOD pilot program and extend it and bring that concept to the junior class,” said Perella. “Juniors and seniors can still take out a chrome book from the Learning Common and we are in the process of creating a system to track what they use it for. But those who want to use their own device they will be able to do so.”
Chrome Books however will still be issued to all juniors and seniors during standardized testing when they will be unable to use their own devices.
Perella said all freshman and sophomores will be assigned ChromeBooks and will not take part in the expanded pilot program as of yet.
“It’s because in these grades they utilize ChromeBooks in all their classes,” said Perella. “Much of the focus of their work is on Google, Google Docs and Google Classroom. All 9th and 10th grades will also be utilizing the ChromeBooks for projects, research and testing.”
Perella also said distribution of the ChromeBooks for juniors and seniors who wish to receive one for the school year will be Tuesday, August 20 through Thursday, August 22 at the High School.
“The plan is as of now that prior to school start junior and seniors can come on those days to pick up their ChromeBook,” said Perella.
School committee member Carol Tye congratulated Perella for setting up this program because it gives students the freedom and flexibility to learn in a way they feel most comfortable while enhancing the high school experience.