By Karla Espino, guest blogger
2016 has brought about some amazing new technology for Portsmouth Public Schools. A couple weeks ago Jon and I had the pleasure of filming different Portsmouth High Schools as each student received their own Google Chromebook for use throughout the school year. It was interesting to see and hear different reactions from students and teachers and there was no doubt that the overall feedback was very positive. A lot of the students expressed excitement considering they did not own their own laptops or computers at home. Other students who did already own a computer were just as eager to get on the Chromebook and explore it’s possibilities.
Of course these thousands of chromebooks came about after a lot of testing and research. Director of Information for Portsmouth Public Schools, Dean Schlaepfer, as well as teachers like Phil Hines, Technology Research, and Biology Teacher, Curtis Williams, are thrilled to give students so much access to their education beyond the classroom walls. The Chromebooks contain their daily lessons, homework, textbooks as ebooks, links to communicate with fellow classmates, and even websites they can access for help after hours. Having everything in one place should make it much easier, more efficient, and even more fun for students to complete their work. The distribution process was quick and simple allowing students to dive right in and discover a more effective way of learning. Each laptop came with everything needed, cords, chargers, straps, and even a case with a stitched school logo on the front.
The interviews were my favorite part of this shoot. Although we were not able to feature everyone we spoke to, it was great hearing both teachers and students hype Portsmouth Schools as well as the Portsmouth community. During the short tutorial after receiving their Chromebooks, students sat attentively listening and following instructions on how to navigate and productively use their new piece of technology. Students from all grades expressed interest throughout the entire process and even more so appreciation. Receiving these books has ensured personal trust to many students who can now advance confidently and prepare for future.