Chromebooks serving SF district well, so far, minus kinks - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Chromebooks serving SF district well, so far, minus kinks

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With a new school year underway, it has been a few weeks since the Sioux Falls School District brought Google Chromebooks into the classroom.

Welcome to the new age.

Chromebooks in just about every Sioux Falls high school, middle school and even some elementary school classrooms.

"The progression has been great, the kids have worked hard to learn how to use them. They've done a good job with them," Beckie Van Drongelen said.

With new technology comes some vital new rules on how to use them.

"We told the kids the district owns the Chromes. Like a textbook, they know they need to take care of it. It's the school district's property so we need to respect them," Van Drongelen said.

"They look pretty easy to break if you drop them or do something to them. That's why I'm being really careful," student Samantha Pritchard said.

District technology director Bob Jenson said they've had a few dropped Chromebooks, some cracked screens and had to troubleshoot the Internet connection, however he says, that's part of the risk the district has assumed.

"We're learning as we go and documenting to make sure we know the best way to do this. We learn from a particular issue so, next Fall, it could look entirely different and we'll have learned from it," Jenson said.

"Every kid is doing their best to keep them safe and secure working hard to keep them in check," Van Drongelen said.

As the school year continues, so does mastering the Chromebook basics.

"With a deployment this large, and the variety of grade levels you're working with, there will be issues you just can't anticipate. Until you put it in place and a load in place to manage it, you really don't know how it's going to react until it's in production," Jenson said.

The Sioux Falls School District purchased roughly 17,000 Chromebooks at roughly $230/a piece. Administrators are hoping to have them for a few years but know it'll take about a year to work out major kinks.

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