The Wauseon Exempted Village School District launched a curricular/technology initiative for the 2014-2015 school year with the support of our Board of Education using instructional funds from the Ohio School Facility Commission Project closeout dollars.
The initial feedback has been positive from both the staff and students. The community also responded well as seen in the high attendance rates at the Chromebook distribution sessions prior to the start of school. One of the Wauseon Middle School teachers shared, “I am now wondering how I taught without it”. A high school teacher stated that he feels that the ability to share documents, presentations, and images is very valuable during the instruction, after the instruction and even if the student is absent.
During some of his classroom visits, Superintendent Brown appreciated seeing situations of group and individual spontaneous learning as it occurred in the classroom. “I have already seen more instances of the use of group projects and presentations than I have ever seen in our classrooms.” These types of activities are easily completed when all the students have the same device, same applications, same operating system and consistent connectivity. Elementary Principal Theresa Vietmeier recently reported to the board that the elementary students could not contain their reaction when they saw the Chromebooks. She went on to say, “It was hard to want to ask them to quiet down because they were so excited.” The students have shared their ideas also. A Wauseon 7th grader stated, “I am much more organized than I was last year.” While the high school students understand that the Chromebooks are not the only way to provide information and instructional materials, many have commented that nearly all of their teachers are using them to some degree.
Mr. Curt Crew, Technology Coordinator, and Mrs. Tina Jones, Curriculum Director, spent last school year planning for this initiative with the assistance of the technology transition team, made up of teachers from throughout the district. The district is utilizing Chromebooks based on the economic nature of the devices and the “free licensing” operating system. The district also intends to purchase digital licenses and utilize free, online instructional materials whenever possible. The district voluntarily removed approximately 12 laser printers from the 4 buildings to drastically reduce printer and paper usage. Mr. Crew was pleased with the smooth transition to this new approach to technology implementation and curriculum integration. He was glad to see a positive response from the students and is now looking toward to the future as Wauseon Schools looks for new methods to continue the development of the technology skills of our students.
Students attending Wauseon High School and Wauseon Middle School are provided their own (1:1) Chromebook Device to use at school and at home for their studies. As part of this curriculum/technology improvement plan, the district will additionally provide Chromebooks at a ratio of approximately 1 device to every 2 students in Grades 3-5 (1:2) and approximately 1 device to every 3 students in Grades K – 2 (1:3). The elementary school and primary school devices will be shared by teams of classrooms and all of those chromebooks will remain at school. The technology staff has developed a protocol at the primary school to significantly reduce the login times while still utilizing the internet filters. Community members are welcome to call the schools or the district office if they have questions about this and other topics.