Sumner school district purchases Chromebooks

The Sumner School District has bought up 1,500 Google Chromebook laptops as part of a "cutting edge" technology initiative for third and fourth grade students.

The Sumner School District has bought up 1,500 Google Chromebook laptops as part of a “cutting edge” technology initiative for third and fourth grade students.

In 2007, voters approved a $114 million capital projects bond issuance for the modernization, expansion and improvement of six district campuses. Five years later in October 2012, a modernized Maple Lawn Elementary School opened its doors and concluded the “Promises Made, Promises Kept” renovation campaign. Approximately $4.9 million remained in the projects fund, available for other approved investments in education.

At an Aug. 14 meeting, the school board approved the district’s three-year technology plan and, with it, the initiative to put netbooks into the hands of students. The idea was to eliminate the shortcomings of computer labs, carts and other methods that divide a small number of machines amongst a large body of students.

“When we want to look up something, we want to look it up that moment,” said Sandy Maynard, the district’s chief technology officer. “Not three days later when it’s your class’s day in the computer lab.”

Chromebooks are laptops that run on a Linux-powered and browser-based operating system. They lean heavily — almost completely — on Internet cloud computing: hard disk software is replaced by browser-based apps and Google encourages users to store files on its cloud drive. Consequently, the machines are light and cheap; the Samsung models purchased by the school sell for $249 a unit on the retail market. Wireless internet bandwidth has been “beefed up” on every elementary campus in the district except Donald Eismann, Maynard said.

“I’ve had a chance to see kids with these before and it’s amazing to see how quickly they adapt,” Superintendent Sara Johnson said. “It will be interesting to see how many teachers are native users … I think kids will be teaching teachers.”

Johnson and Maynard immediately foresaw the laptop’s classroom applications for assignment sharing through Google Drive, and for meeting Common Core standards for online testing beginning in 2015. Applications beyond those will be up to teacher experimentation.

Teachers will be meeting at the district office Friday morning for an introduction to the new laptops.

More in News

Podcast, scholarship created in memory of two sons

The Babst Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Garrett and J.T. Babst, will go to an Auburn Mountainview High School student to support their decision to go into trade school.

County planning to finish Enumclaw trail, build bridge over White River

$2.8 million was allotted in the state legislature’s capital budget this year to jumpstart the project, which is expected to be compete between 2020 and 2021.

Reality House invites parents of teenagers

The Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation is hoping to educate parents about about how to talk to their kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Despite the threat of rain and wind, hundreds turned out at Allan Yorke Park and lit candles in memory of the deceased. Photo by Ray Still
Plateau community honors two who died in avalanche

Hundreds of friends and family members attended the police procession and candlelight vigil last week for James Larsen and Zach Roundtree.

Buckley double homicide suspect charged

Jared P. T. Standley, 21, was charged with killing his parents in Buckley last week.

Local skater gearing up for Worlds, next Winter Olympics

Corinne Stoddard is expected to make it big in the world inline speed skating championship games later this summer.

Double murder in Buckley leads to Tumwater shootout with police

The suspect has been arrested and is expected to be charged with murder in the first degree.

Dog park idea topic of open house

Enumclaw’s Park Board will host a public meeting March 14 at City Hall.

Kidnapping scam targets families of young kids

The suspects are a male with an accent and a younger-sounding female.

Most Read