Freshmen receive chromebooks

Freshman Emma Rice uses her Chromebook to plan a road trip for Mrs. Davis' Algebra I class. [Zach Griggy]

In September, the freshmen of San Marin left their health and CCR classes and walked to the library. Inside, they sat down at tables and approached a table at the back of the library one at a time, where they were handed a Google Chromebook, a pair of earbuds and a charger.

The distribution of these computers to the freshman class was a result of the implementation of the first phase of the One to the World Program, which aims to promote student success and equity by increasing students’ access to technology. This program, once fully implemented, will provide a Chromebook to every student at NUSD from third grade to 12th grade.

The issue of whether the NUSD WiFi network could handle an extra 300 devices on it was
raised last year when the program was discussed. Over the summer, NUSD’s IT department renovated San Marin’s WiFi routers to ensure the WiFi could handle the new devices. NUSD’s contract with AT&T was also upgraded to increase NUSD’s bandwidth.

NUSD purchased extra Chromebooks to replace ones that are lost or damaged, as well as an additional 300 for sophomores who are in classes that have a large amount of freshman taking it, such as Spanish 1. The district noted that these sophomores would be at a disadvantage in a class where the majority of their peers had computers, and thus took steps to address it. The rest of the sophomore class is expected to receive Chromebooks next year, so the costs of providing computers to these sophomores will be offset.

Teachers are already making use of the new Chromebooks in the classroom. Math teacher Sara Davis’s Algebra I classes are using Chromebooks for a project in which
they plan a road trip, find the places they want to visit, calculate the costs of the trip, graph the expense equations and use Desmos to check their graphs.

“I’m excited. I like knowing that I can count on them having a device in class,” said Davis. “I think they’re more engaged when they get to use their computers because that’s
something they like to do.”