Education

Grant money gives laptops to students and teachers

Friday, August 30, 2013

Some kids going back to school this week in the East Bay are in for some big changes thanks to a big grant.

Lisa Duncanson's fourth graders carry out most of their assignments with pencil and paper. But this year, there's something new at the Union City elementary school. Duncanson has a Chromebook -- the inexpensive laptop from Google. Soon her students will have them too.

The New Haven School District is the only one in the Bay Area to win a grant from the federal Race to the Top program for $29 million.

The Chromebooks only cost $250.

Younger kids will share the Chromebooks. They store everything in the cloud -- so the dog can't eat your homework.

But the Chromebooks are far more than just a replacement for pencil and paper. Giving students access to laptops is the first step in the district's plan to turn education upside down.

Instead of listening to a lecture, then heading home to bang out problems, students will go home and watch videos their teachers make and then come to class to work on their assignments with the teacher.

It's called flip learning.

Duncanson says videos allow the kids to learn at their own pace. Then she can watch and help them apply what they've learned.

The district is spending most of the grant money retooling its curriculum and training teachers for this new style of education. The Chromebooks will gradually roll out over three years.

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Tags:
computers, children, teachers, union city, google, education, jonathan bloom
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