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Lucia Mar adding more technology to middle and high school classes

The Lucia Mar Unified School District is making sure its students receive 21st century skill development.

Over the next three months, the district is expanding the use of technology in classrooms, adding 1,750 Chromebooks at its four high schools and three middle schools.

At Nipomo High School, the mobile devices have been arriving since last week.

Principal John Denno said the school had only one set of Chromebooks when he arrived four years ago.

Now, the school is set to receive 550 Chromebooks by the end of the month. It will bring the number of devices on campus to 900.

“We’re excited,” said Denno. “We’re happy to have the support of the district to help increase the amount of access that our students have and increase the access that our staff has.”

According to Lucia Mar, the Chromebooks will be going into all core classrooms (English, math, science and social studies). When all books are distributed, there will essentially be a 1:1 ratio for all students in middle and high schools.

“I think it’s pretty cool because we all get to have the opportunity,” said Nipomo student Aryln Gonzalez. “Now every other classroom has them, so now we can hop on and see our assignments and what we need to do, so it really helps us in our everyday life.”

The Chromebooks that are already in place in schools are being used in most classes.

“They can be used for pretty much anything,” said Nipomo teacher Amanda Hatfield. “It could be just getting the kids hooked in to whatever we’re doing. It could be on the site, they need to go research, it could be coming up with way to show what they’re understanding.”

With more devices in classrooms, sharing between teachers will be eliminated.

“The convenience of having the Chromebooks in the classrooms is that the teachers don’t have to relocate to another location,” Denno said,. “They can use them for an abbreviated period of time, or an extended period of time. When you have access to that device daily, you can use it to check for students understanding, you can give many quizzes, you’re constantly getting feedback from students that inform instruction for teachers.”

The Chromebooks will help Nipomo and other district schools continue to add to their digital curriculum.

“It’s actually in our standards, all students must acquire word processing skills, use of spreadsheets, presentation skills,” Denno said. “We want to ensure and guarantee that every student that walks across that stage is equipped with those skills, so when they go into their career or continue their education, they have that skillset. It makes them more marketable and prepared. As we know, technology is everywhere, whether it’s requesting an appointment or accessing documents or submitting documents, it’s a necessary skillset.”

A similar expansion of Chromebooks is planned at the district’s 11 elementary schools.

The goal is to increase the student/device ratio to 1:1 for students in third through sixth grade by 2020.

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