Tech
Kings weighs switchover to Google

Bekah Burwick

B. Burwick

chromebooks1 (2)With a new school year comes new technology. Kings Local Schools is boosting their use of technology with devices such as Chromebooks and iPads. Not only are the devices being updated now, but by next year the district hopes to have switched over from Microsoft Office software to Google Drive.

Google Drive is a cloud-based software suite similar to Microsoft Office. It features word processing, presentation and spreadsheet apps similar to Office. However, Office costs money. Licensing fees for thousands of computers in a district the size of Kings can accumulate quickly. Google Drive is free.

Chris Chamberlain, Bradford Media Center tech specialist, said new technology is vital for a growing school.

“We live in a connected world, so why not stay connected at school,” he said. “The more technology we have, the more opportunities there are for new learning, so why not use it.”

Chamberlain said one “normal” windows laptop costs around the same as four Chromebooks. The price difference alone is a good reason to switch.

Until this year, Kings has offered laptop carts for teacher use. But the carts were difficult to reserve and often encountered problems. Now, the high school alone has nine Chromebook carts in addition to a laptop cart for each academic department – for a total of 14 mobile computing carts.

The junior high has four chromebook carts, and each grade school has four courts.

So far in Kings, each schooI has a few carts but administrators hope that in the next few years, each classroom will have a set.

“I think it would be great if each student could have their own Chromebook or iPad,” said Chamberlain.

High School Spanish teacher Lindsay Sixx said she has grown to prefer Google Drive.

“Google drive makes everything easier for learning and teaching,” she said

 

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