SPOKANE, Wash. - Classrooms at Medical Lake High School are looking a whole lot different this school year. Gone are the stacks of big and heavy textbooks, now students have the materials for each and every class in one place, their new Google Chromebooks.
Assistant superintendent for the Medical Lake School District Kimberly Headrick said, “our ultimate goal is to provide our students with the tools and resources to be effectively ready for meeting the needs of the 21st century.”
The opportunity to do so, presented itself in the form of a Department of Defense stem grant, since 48% of students have ties to Fairchild Air Force base. Yes, they'll still have things like binders and workbooks, but these laptops provide something more.
“We are really focused on providing a blended learning opportunity,” added Headrick.
The experience so far has been a positive, but not one without interesting challenges for teachers.
“If we don't have a set of classroom books, in the room, how do we arrange around that? We've been looking for materials that include a digital book,” shared math teacher Tina Shull.
There was also the concern of keeping lessons interactive, with a screen right in front of students faces.
That hasn't been an issue yet though.
Added Shull, “they are doing pretty good with it. It was kind of up in the air, you know, how is this all going to look? It was new to all of us. You know, doing good with it so far.”
The grant has three phases. This year, every high school student has one. Next year middle school students will join them and in 2020, kids from kindergarten to fifth grade in Medical Lake schools will be using them too.
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