14 high schools to distribute more than 18,000 laptops in January
More than 18,000 students at 14 schools will be receiving laptops in January as part of the district’s one-to-one plan to give all high school students a digital device to use for learning at school and at home. The one-to-one laptop program is a key component of HISD’s PowerUp initiative, which aims to digitally transform teaching and learning throughout the district.
By providing students with 24-hour access to a digital device, students can become producers and evaluators of knowledge, not just consumers. The laptops will allow them to locate, evaluate, and interpret information, as well as collaborate with others to engage in authentic, real-world tasks. Most importantly, the students will develop the skills they need to compete in today’s 21st-century economy.
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Teachers, through PowerUp, will learn how to use technology to engage their students, personalize instruction, and increase academic achievement. Over the past several months, teachers at the phase-two schools have been training on how to use the laptops and web-based tools in their daily instruction. HISD has partnered with the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina to help train and offer professional development to PowerUp teachers. Mooresville has one of the most successful one-to-one programs in the country.
HISD is deploying the one-to-one laptops in phases. During the 2013–2014 school year, students at 11 schools received their devices. This school year, 21 high schools will be added. During the 2015–2016 school year, the remaining 10 high schools will distribute laptops to their students.
Before students can receive their devices, they and their parents must sign and return the district’s laptop loan agreement and pay a $25 non-refundable security deposit. Parents must also attend a family night with their child to learn more about the proper care of the device and the importance of good digital citizenship and cyber safety.