Adult man teaching a classroom of students

The provision of a device for use at school and home is one of the distinguishing features of School2Home.  The importance of this Core Component was clear when schools closed in the spring of 2020 and learning shifted to home.  As one principal put it: “You prepared us for this moment.”  While many schools had purchased laptops or tablets for use during annual testing, they were not typically used to establish the technology-rich learning environments that advance student achievement and parent engagement.  COVID-19 revealed the consequences of this more limited vision.

The provision of a computing device (device) for each student to use at school and home is central to School2Home:

  • A device for every student to use at school is necessary for teachers to implement project-based learning activities that support Common Core concepts and student-centered learning strategies.
  • A device for students to use at home extends their learning day, facilitates blended learning, and enables students to engage in collaborative experiences with their peers. Allowing students to take their school device home increases the likelihood that the online assessment results represent student knowledge rather than their familiarity with the equipment they are taking the test.
  • The device also supports increased parent engagement and digital literacy. During the Parent Workshops, parents learn about and use their child’s device, including how to maintain it and use it to engage with teachers and the school Learning Management System.

Also note that home broadband access is critical to School2Home.  A separate Core Component is devoted to helping participating parents secure low-cost Internet access at home.

Implementation Process

Assess Existing Technology

Assess Existing Technology. Thanks to federal and state investments in school technology, most schools have broadband throughout the school. However, before moving to the roll-out, it is important to confirm the broadband capabilities of supporting a one-to-one environment. A plan is also necessary to support distance learning: devices, home Internet access and technical support. It is also essential to inventory the entire technology landscape on campus including distance learning platforms and other signature applications employed throughout the school.

Collect District Technology Policies

Collect District Technology Policies. Districts typically have policies regarding the deployment of devices, student media releases, responsible or acceptable use policies, and digital citizenship. These policies should be reviewed and updated as needed. Parents should sign a form acknowledging their understanding of device plan and their responsibilities.

Develop Technology Policies and Procedures

Develop Technology Policies and Procedures. If not already in place, the Tech Support Lead should assemble essential school policies and practices to guide implementation. These include procurement and replacement policies, technical support provisioning, inventory systems, insurance coverage, and devices through the summer and holidays. The tech support process needs to be distributed to the entire school community, including teachers, parents, and students.

Prepare a Student and Family Handbook

Prepare a Student and Family Handbook. This handbook should be provided to all participating students and families. As shown in the Handbook Template tool below, this guide should cover responsible use, tech support services, and student expectations for using and caring for the device.

Implement the Device Deployment and Management Plan.

Implement the Device Deployment and Management Plan. Part of the Work Plan, this Guide must address deployment, management and collection protocols. A crucial objective is to provide technical support efficiently to minimizes time that students are without devices.