We are now at the end of our first month of children taking home their Chromebooks. Well, half the children taking home their Chromebooks at least. In fact, probably about 2/3's of half the children taking home their Chromebooks (there's a little maths question in there for you).
So why all the fractions? To begin with, we're taking it slow. We rolled the project out to Year 6 initially; then Year 5; and this week, Year 4 will be joining in the fun. So, half the school have the opportunity to take their tech home at the moment.
But, here's the first surprise... not everyone wants to! This caught us a little off-guard as we assumed everyone would jump at the chance! Only around 65% of families are actually opting in to this scheme however. Whether this is because of connectivity; additional responsibility; or lack of interest, we do not know at the moment.
The good news however, as we're talking fractions and percentages, is that 100% of the machines have returned to school undamaged and ready for action each day (well, we've had the odd one forgotten on the odd day, but I'm using artistic licence).
The other good (if not great!) news, is that children are actually using them for work and study! Yes, children are going home and continuing with the work they began at school. They are completing those writing tasks! Practicing times tables! Doing a bit of coding! Even emailing teachers for help and advice after 3:30pm! In some cases, we even have children starting new pieces of work, self directed and self motivated, based on the topics and content we have introduced them too! Stories, poems, reports and animations have begun to appear, just for the fun of it! Who would have believed that children are actually enjoying learning? Well, we did. And that's why we set off on this phase of the project.
It's early days of course. The novelty might wear off. The honeymoon could end. The internet might 'go down'. And we'll no doubt have the odd broken Chromebook along the way. But that is now the challenge. Keeping the motivation high; keeping the wheels turning; and keeping innovation going, in order to engage, excite and encourage our children to become life-long learners.
Oh, and our next step... Parents. How do we get the children's parents on-board and trained up, in order to fully take advantage of the fading divide between home and school?