LaGrange Academy starts One to One Initiative

Published 8:28 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

Technology is changing in the classrooms at LaGrange Academy.

LaGrange Academy started the One to One Initiative during its spring semester.

Head of School Brian Dolinger said they bought 220 Chromebooks for their teachers and 150 students in sixth through twelfth grade.

“We’re just providing them a way to enhance their education,” Dolinger said. “A computer will never replace high quality, effective teaching in the classroom, that human interaction. However it’s a really powerful tool that can augment the whole process. So, we’re really excited about what we’re able to do this spring as we move into this fall.”

Dolinger said the initiative allows students to work simultaneously on Google Docs and Google Slides.

“We spent time with our teachers, first going through training and then tools,” Dolinger said.

“Our communication has increased and improved with our teachers being able to coordinate calendars, messaging to parents and putting assignments together.”

Dolinger said student access to Wi-Fi is not a problem since most of them have access at home.

“The students are able to download assignments so you’re not dependent on Wi-Fi to complete certain things,” Dolinger said. “Now, of course, if you’re wanting to surf the web or something like that they would need to (be on Wi-Fi).”

Dolinger said one student computer was damaged in the spring and the Chromebooks cost $250 apiece.

He said all Chromebooks have barcodes and can be tracked anywhere.

Elementary students do not have laptops, but the desktops in their classrooms were replaced with Chromebooks, Dolinger said. The laptops are replaced on a three-year cycle, he said.

Students hand in their assigned Chromebooks at the end of the year where the administration runs updates on them.

In terms of security, Dolinger said they have extensive firewall protection to stop students from going on inappropriate websites or websites that distract from learning. He said they also teach their students about their online presence.

Dolinger said while they are using the laptops in the classroom, they aren’t a total replacement for learning with paper and pencil.

“What I tell our teachers is ‘we have to use everything in a balance,’” Dolinger said. “I don’t think it’s wise to say we’re going to push everything to a digital platform because sometimes paper and pencil is the best way to learn something.”