As we move deeper into a time where technology rules, Battle Ground schools are bringing technology into the classroom and beyond. Battle Ground School District is the fourth school in the Northwest region to receive praise from Google – Google for Education Reference District.
To receive this recognition, a district must “demonstrate excellence and leadership through innovative use of technology to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.” This distinction also makes Battle Ground a resource for other districts wanting to use Google educational technologies.
Chromebooks are checked out to students to use for various assignments throughout the year using programs such as G Suite for Education, aka Google Classroom. According to Scott McDaniel, Battle Ground Public Schools’ Director of Technology and a Google certified educator and administrator, “Google Classroom is a unifying force that is incredibly easy to use for teachers and students alike. It’s an entire learning management system. Teachers can create classes, collect and grade assignments, provide feedback to students in real time as they’re working on a project, create schedules, and so much more. It provides a ‘one stop shop’ that makes teaching and learning far more engaging than using paper and pencils.”
One teacher, seventh-grade teacher Angela Minick at Daybreak Middle School, as well as other members of her team, have created a comprehensive book study program using several interconnected programs such as Google Forms, Slides, YouTube, and more. Students start by using Google slides to introduce them to the ideas in the book they are studying. While students read the book, they can find links to character study videos on YouTube. They are able to look up vocabulary words and can retrieve assignments quickly and easily. Minick said, “Students having their own Chromebooks that are already loaded with the full suite of apps for education is a very powerful teaching resource -both for me as a teacher and for the students doing the work.”
Battle Ground Schools is working to get Chromebooks into the hands of students from third grade to twelfth grade. This is part of their technical education initiatives. In January of 2017 students in the seventh grade were given Chromebooks, and as of 2018 grades six through ninth were also included.
Students are checked out a Chromebook at the beginning of the year and they are able to take it home and use it for assignments as much as needed. Students are responsible for the Chromebook just as they are for textbooks. Once the initiative is complete, students in sixth through twelfth grades will be able to check out Chromebooks for at school and home use, and students in third through fifth grade will be able to check out a Chromebook for in-class use only.
McDaniel said, “We believe technology plays a critical role in education, and we’re committed to providing tools for students to use at school and at home. Providing this level of access prepares our students for college and careers, increases student engagement, and enhances collaboration between students and their teachers.”
Way to go Battle Ground Schools, preparing the next generation for a technological world.