Chromebooks: Morenci schools taking a bold move 2014.09.17

Morenci Area Schools is about to embark on a daunting adventure in contemporary education: a laptop computer for every student in grades six through 12.

Training for staff continues before the new Chromebook computers are placed into the hands of students—students who will likely adapt to the change much faster than the adult at the front of each classroom.

The change goes beyond the mere appearance of new technology. It will also affect the way students are taught and the way they interact with teachers. The manner in which teachers use the laptops will vary from room to room, but it’s possible that a piece of paper will never again be used. That goes for state testing, as well, when the assessment regimen is moved to an online format.

The news that every child will have a computer may come as a shock to many people who wonder, first off, how all kids are expected to care for the equipment. Morenci is far from being the first school district to use this approach—although it’s thought to be the first in Lenawee County—and administrators have spent considerable time speaking to school leaders in other districts.

When it’s time to distribute the computers to children, staff training will be complete and student use policy will be in place and parents informed. Then the adventure begins.

Morenci area residents stay well informed of the achievements of students through the Observer, and they know about projects and initiatives led by the staff, such as the laptops-for-everyone effort. Unfortunately, others throughout the county seldom hear about our achievements and many have negative views about the town down there on the Ohio border.

We’ll just have to move forward on our own, continuing as a well-kept secret while our school continues to grow in quality.