Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chromebook Check In at Leyden

Two hundred and eighty four days ago I was writing a post about how 1:1 With Chromebooks Becomes a Reality at Leyden.  Tomorrow, May 24, is the last day of the year for our students.  I still cannot believe this year is over.  Next to my first year of teaching back in 1995-1996, this was by far the most highly anticipated year in my career.  Having been the Director of Technology for Leyden High School District 212 for the past 12 years, I have orchestrated and been a part of many changes, but nothing even comes close to what we accomplished this year.  But we did it!  And we didn't just survive our first year with every one of our students having a Chromebook, we flourished!.  Everyone is responsible for our success:  the teachers, the students, the parents, the administrators, the Board of Education, the tech staff, the maintenance staff, and the entire Leyden community.  For links to numerous resources about our journey during the past year, check out this page.  We certainly attracted a lot of attention from other educators around the country and were happy to participate in numerous conversations, email exchanges, Google Hangouts, webinars, and we even hosted four official site visit days for over 240 educators from five different states.  We were the beneficiaries of lots of advice and guidance during our planning and research phases and enjoy paying it forward.  We have even organized a three day 1:1 Summer Symposium from July 31-August 2 , 2013 to share an in depth look at what we've done and how we've done it.  Shameless plug - we still have about 90 spots available.

Now, with one day left, of course it's time for one more "first" of the year.  Chromebook collection!  In our model, the district owns the Chromebooks and we issue them to each student much like we issue them text books or a locker to use for the year.  The students will turn in their devices, chargers, and cases and then get the exact same ones re-issued to them at the beginning of next year or during summer school.  The devices from the senior class will be assigned to our incoming Freshmen. Having started the transformation of how we approach teaching and learning by moving much of it to the Web, we knew that our students would need their devices all the way through their last final exam.  Many of them have actually needed their Chromebooks to take certain parts of their exams online.  Others have simply needed continued access to the digital resources and review materials that have accumulated in OpenClass, our learning management system, and their Google Drives throughout the year.  And so that leaves us with one day with one final exam and then the collection of almost 2,700 Chromebooks.  The good news is that our seniors turned in their devices last week, so we only need to collect about 3/4 of our entire 3,500 device fleet in one day.  Here is a quick outline of our Chromebook collection plan:

The Database
My outstanding team developed a comprehensive database system that ties in with our student management system to keep track of all Chromebooks, charges, and cases checked out and assigned to students.  It was also used to keep track of loaners that were checked out to students when they forgot their devices, didn't have them fully charged, or had their devices in for service.  Eventually, the database was also set up to check in the Chromebooks, record charges for certain damages, and email the students a receipt of their turned in equipment.

The Check In Form
check in form was designed that includes student information, their assigned Chromebook and charger identification numbers, and an inspection check sheet.  

Senior Collection
During the last week of attendance for seniors, they were allowed to turn in their Chromebooks to our
student-run tech support class at any time.  On their last day of attendance we set up a mass collection location in each of our buildings (the library at East Leyden and the field house at West Leyden).  Those students that didn't turn in their equipment early waited in line after their last exam, had their equipment inspected, and then scanned into the system.

Underclass Collection
All students are expected to bring their equipment to their last final exam.  After the exam, their teachers will complete the physical inspection, fill out the check in form, and rubber band together the Chromebook in its case with the charger and check in form.  Later in the day, teams of support staff will visit every classroom and transport the boxes of equipment to a holding area in each building.  In the following days, other teams of support staff will scan in all of the equipment into the database system.

Our talented maintenance department built a series of "cubbies" to store the equipment.  Each cubbie has
been labeled with asset tag numbers to match those of the Chromebooks.  All of the Chromebooks, chargers, and cases will be stored in these cubbies for the summer.

Our remarkable assistant principals hammered out the majority of the logistics of our Chromebook check in plan and the senior collection went extremely well.  We are now hoping for similar results with the underclass tomorrow.  I'm confident we're ready.  We've met every other challenge that going 1:1 this year threw at us and found great successes time after time.

Stay tuned to my blog for more reflections and statistics about the digital evolution of Leyden Community High School District 212 this past year.