Little Silver Gives All 4th- and 5th-Graders Netbooks
The district is moving toward one-to-one computing.
Back to school brought Little Silver fourth- and fifth-graders the requisite new notebooks and pencils and for the first time, a new netbook greeted each student in September.
In an effort to move students toward one-to-one computing, the district purchased 206 Dell netbooks to accommodate each student in those two grades that will accompany them through graduation, according to Dr. Carolyn Kossack, Little Silver's superintendent of schools. Each student was assigned a netbook that was registered in the student's name and will move with him or her through the eighth grade.
Kossack said the push behind the initiative, which cost the district about $128,000 for the computers and charging stations, was twofold. "Our goal was to put technology in the hands of kids," she said, explaining that often technology is used primarily by the teachers in the classroom.
The other impetus was the state's move away from the NJASK testing towards Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which will be administered online, said Kossack. While the test is still two years away from being fully implemented with the online component, Kossack said the netbooks were also in line with providing students "21st Century skills."
"Regardless of what happens, we'll be ready," Kossack said, adding that each year fourth-graders will receive the netbooks as part of a regular rotation.
"There's been a very significant shift to provide more and more online resources instead of disposable ones," she said. Students will use their netbooks, which are like small laptops, for everything from writing language arts papers to using Web sites like Gizmos and Study Island to enhance math and science lessons.
For now, the netbooks stay tucked away in classrooms and don't go home with students, but Kossack said that that might change over time as security issues are addressed.