Classroom Laptops Coming to BASH for Pilot Program

The following year, students will receive one-on-one laptops

The purchase of sets of laptops to be placed in pilot 10th grade classrooms in the 2014/2015 school year was approved by the school board Tuesday.

The purchase of the HP 215 Netbook is part of a plan to eventually give all BASH students individual laptops that they will be able to use in the classroom and take home with them, said Mr. Scott Major, Boyertown Area School District Director of Information Technology.

Here’s how the project will be rolled out:

2014-15: Pilot 10th grade classrooms will receive a set of  up to 30 netbooks. “This is to give teachers a chance to adapt their curriculum to a 1:1 environment.” Major said.

2015-16: The 10th grade students will each be given laptops that they can take home, and 1:1 classroom netbook sets will move up to 11th grade.

2016-17: Each 10th grader will be assigned a netbook, each 11th grader will be assigned a netbook, and 12th grade classrooms will have the 1:1 classroom sets.

2017-18: All students in grades 9 – 12 will be participating in 1:1.

The netbooks have a Quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, equipped with a touch screen and are Windows 8.1 ready, Major said. These devices will retain their value at the end of the 3 year lease, with the intent of becoming a 4-year lease when 9th grade students become part of BASH through the 9th Grade Academy he said.

Under the program, students will still have option to bring in their own computer, as they do under the current Bring Your Own Technology program.

The 1:1 initiative will also help expand the hybrid learning program, which provides students with classes that are partly taught in the classroom and partly taught online. Right now, the district’s cyber program has 25 students but is projected to grow, Major said.

The district is also looking into online textbooks and e-books to be integrated with the 1:1 computers.  However, “publishers are still behind the eight-ball in the world of text books,” Major said.