09 Jan Deploying Chromebooks? Use Google Transformation Center to Develop a 1:1 Strategy
To help school districts avoid common one-to-one pitfalls, Google Transformation Center enables school leaders to share tips and resources.
The greatest benefit of digital technology is its ability to bring people together. In every endeavor — whether it’s a business venture, educational program or social cause — technology harnesses the power of diverse ideas, collected from people around the world who have approached the problem from an unlimited number of perspectives. Google Transformation Center is taking advantage of this thought leadership to help school districts launch one-to-one Chromebook initiatives with as few obstacles as possible.
Giving Schools a Blueprint for Success
Districts that have made the leap to one-to-one technology have similar stories about common pitfalls. Handing out Chromebooks is the easy part. The real difficulty lies in building a reliable network infrastructure, empowering teachers to think differently, getting student technology skills up to speed, and convincing parents to support digital learning at home.
Google’s goal is to help school districts embrace change, so they can avoid costly mistakes that can plague a poorly planned Chromebook pilot. In recent years, many school leaders have visited other districts to observe how they successfully implement one-to-one technology in the classroom. Google Transformation Center is bottling up that experience into a convenient and easily accessible resource hub, making it easier for educators around the world to share ideas and figure out what could work best for their schools.
Embracing the 7 Core Elements of Transformation
Google Transformation Center can help your school district plan a smooth transition by focusing on these seven core aspects of transformation.
- Vision: Districts that struggle to make Chromebook programs work often lack a strong vision to guide school leaders through key decisions. In many cases, leaders have an urgent desire to keep up with other educational institutions, so they blindly move forward without clearly defining what they hope to accomplish and how they intend to do it. Google’s vision-building resources offer insight on how to evaluate your school’s needs and set benchmarks to keep track of your progress. From improving hiring practices to creating metrics for measuring success, these resources show you how to take a thorough, tactical approach to technology planning.
- Learning: By now, most educators realize that simply putting Chromebooks in front of kids isn’t enough to boost achievement. Students benefit more when teachers develop learning models based on their individual needs and engagement levels. Transformational learning resources encourage your teaching staff to think in terms of “competencies,” so they can design lessons that demonstrate how well a student understands and applies new concepts.
- Professional Development: Teachers are the backbone of your one-to-one program; but just like your students, teachers vary in their technical knowledge. The professional development category focuses on empowering teachers to be leaders in digital education. Google provides resources for coaching educators, aligning team goals and motivating teachers to support one aanother. By enabling teachers to feel comfortable working with technology, school leaders create an environment where educators can be creative and proactive about developing results-driven curriculum.
- Technology: Financial investment and preparation can make or break a Chromebook initiative, so smart leaders obsess over the details. The technology resources can help your school make key decisions, such as providing network support for a large-scale deployment, choosing education tools and assessing the technical skills of students.
- Culture: Innovation can only grow in cultures where educators are encouraged to experiment and collaborate. To transform their classroom experiences, teachers need flexibility to be creative. Google’s culture resource hub brings comprehensibility to one of the most difficult goals of a technology program — fostering curiosity and risk-taking while minimizing negative consequences. An innovative culture involves curiosity, support and teamwork at every level of leadership, making it essential for your district to rethink everything from staff meetings to classroom layouts.
- Funding & Sustainability: Even if a one-to-one program effectively boosts learning, it can’t survive without a sustainable finance model. Underestimating costs, such as Chromebook repairs, can derail your initiative and make it difficult to retain community support. The funding and sustainability guides are valuable for overcoming potential obstacles, planning primary and secondary funding sources, managing budgets, and finding opportunities to save funds and resources.
- Community Engagement: School leaders can easily overlook the importance of building community support beyond parents. No matter how the program is funded, government officials, business owners, and local citizens can all play a role in sustaining one-to-one initiatives. Raising community awareness can help schools increase funding, recover lost assets, support students in low-income families, and form financially beneficial partnerships, making it essential to enlist others who share your educational vision.
Change takes time and dedication, but schools that commit to transforming the learning environment have a better chance of surviving the ups and downs of one-to-one programs.
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