CUSD looks to expand Chromebook program to more students

Capistrano Unified School District. File photo
Capistrano Unified School District. File photo

By Jim Shilander

Thousands of Capistrano Unified School District students may soon get the opportunity to have additional assistance in classrooms.

Following a successful Chromebook pilot program in several district schools, including Concordia and Vista del Mar elementary schools, CUSD trustees voted unanimously June 11 to seek bids to potentially purchase up to 5,000 additional devices for the upcoming school year.

Susan Holliday, the district’s executive director of technology and information services, said the program, which provided Chromebooks, a personal computer running a Google operating system, had received favorable reviews from teachers and students.

Nearly 1,000 students and 28 teachers participated in the program, which stretched between six schools and started in February 2014. The concept behind the program was to evaluate different technology and resources that could help students and teachers adjust to the state’s common core standards.

Teachers involved said they were able to be more creative in their lesson planning, Holliday told trustees.

They also reported that the technology allowed students to work collaboratively, leading some students to rise to the occasion and take on more of a leadership role.

Holliday said there was a need for more technology in schools but that the district was unable to supply all students with Chromebooks.

While the district could provide some, Holliday suggested that individual school foundations also be encouraged to raise funds for the purchase of the laptops in each school classroom.

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