It has been a busy summer for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) Department of Technology (DOT). Approximately 19,000 Chromebooks made their way through DOT’s warehouse and will join more than 45,500 devices already in use by students across the division. Come next month, these Chromebooks will be placed in the hands of every student in grades one through 12 at all 86 schools and centers.
“Originally the devices were scheduled to be delivered to the schools in early September, but each day our DOT team challenged themselves to provision and deliver more devices than the day before,” said Ramesh Kapoor, VBCPS chief information officer. “One day, the team provisioned 2,057 devices – an amazing feat.”
Before they reach students’ hands, each device must be tagged with a barcode, tested, updated and repacked into boxes for delivery to its specified school. Additionally, school administrators and staff are provided training on the best practices for using technology in the classroom.
In order to process thousands of new Chromebooks DOT built a microcontroller that they manufactured to program the Chromebooks allowing what previously took an individual 10-15 minutes, now under one minute.
As of Aug. 8, all 19,000 Chromebooks have been tested, updated, programed and scheduled for delivery to their designated schools. Delivery for the devices will be complete before the beginning of the school year.
Classes in grades one through four are provided charging carts as a means to store and change the devices which remain at school. In grades five through 12, classes are provided with a case to easily and safely carry the device between home and school.
Throughout the school year, schools host parent engagement events in which family members are invited to see firsthand how students interact with the devices in a classroom setting. Families should be on the lookout for these opportunities to see firsthand how the strategic use of technology leads to transformational learning experiences for students.