Two technology gurus on the faculty of Evanston Township High School are expected to make a pitch tonight to the District 202 School Board to consider providing a free Chromebook to every freshman at the school, starting with the incoming class this September.
In a memo to the board in advance of tonight’s presentation, David Chan and Paula Frohman are advocating what they call a “one-to-one digital learning initiative,” whereby every student would have access to a computer that would enable them to continue learning “after the bell rings.”
They have formed an implementation committee tasked with determining how the concept has worked at other schools and that taps into the experiences of some 50 teachers at ETHS that have been using mobile device carts to give access to computers for virtually every student across nearly all disciplines and areas of the building.
A one-to-one initiative, they contend, “would allow more opportunities for our students to create, collaborate, and communicate in ways that are not currently possible, and it would further enable students to learn how to learn, use the internet, research their world, and connect their ideas with a greater audience.”
The pair insists that these skills are essential to prepare students for the demands of a modern society.
“While we know there will certainly be challenges and a lot of work to be done,” they wrote, “we are confident that a well-planned program with participation from a variety of stakeholders, coupled with our previous experiences, will lead to positive change at ETHS.”
Chromebooks are laptop computers that are made by several manufacturers using the Chrome operating system by Google. Most Chrome laptops retail for less than $300, but would be available for considerably less if purchased in volume.