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Chromebooks distributed to high school students

posted Feb 7, 2015, 12:16 PM by bcps web   [ updated Feb 10, 2015, 6:29 AM ]

Chromebook 2015

From the Botetourt View- Twenty-first century education is something that Botetourt County received accolades for in the recent Virginia Budget and Planning review. On Friday, Jan. 29, and Monday, Feb. 2, Botetourt's high schools took another giant step when Chromebooks were distributed to students.

At James River High School, 576 Chromebooks, 4GB with a 16GB hard drive and pre-loaded with Botetourt County Schools approved software and ready to access the school's new Wi-Fi system, were handed out. They were distributed first to seniors and then the freshman class, which will use the books almost three and a half years.

IT and IT specialist technicians were busy distributing to all four grade levels. Jay Hipes, Sammy Foster, Teresa Simmons, Susan Albrecht and Rebecca Woodie manned the red bags and Chromebook distribution. Each device came with instructions, an adapter and protective sleeve. Students signed into their email accounts and were back to class with the new treasure.

No social media is allowed and other noneducational materials are filtered out, but for assignments and other written work, the Chromebook will be an essential tool.

Freshman Luke Campbell said with enthusiasm, "Now I won't have to write on paper. I am kind of messy, and this should be a real benefit to classwork."

Principal Jamie Talbott said, "It is an exciting time for students and teachers. The one-to-one initiative will enhance classroom instruction and give better education opportunity for all students."

Photo Slideshow-

By Cathy Benson


David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.comMore and more, technology is becoming a must in the classroom.

Botetourt County recently spent nearly one million dollars on laptops for every high school student, it's getting them to students that's the challenge. "We were a little bit nervous because we were doing this midway through the year," said IT expert Michael Moser. When you're giving out 1,1000 laptops about 30 students at a time, it can be hard to find, "An organized way of putting it all together," Moser said.

Botetourt County schools got these Chromebooks just four weeks ago.Since then, it's been a controlled chaotic effort to smoothly get those laptops checked, registered and into the hands of students."The bags are ready to go, the case is ready to go, the charging cables are ready to go, the devices are put out alphabetically," Moser said of the system by which students are getting the computers."The whole team has just been great," said Lord Botetourt High School Principal Janet Womack, "We've been ahead of schedule since Friday and we hope to have the process complete by tomorrow. It just takes Mike Moser and his team just six minutes to make sure the students are good to go. That's when those students head out and another group comes in. "I'm really excited, I think it'll help a lot with classes," said senior Danielle Beckner. "It's cool, you know, that they are getting them out so quick and trying to be efficient," senior Elizabeth Kennedy said, "It felt a little rushed, but it wasn't horrible."

Teachers have had the laptops since November to prepare for the last three months of school where every student has one too. In the coming weeks, students will learn how to better use them, today was just the very quick introduction. Students at James River High School in Botetourt County also got the laptops.

In all, the school system gave 1,675 computers to students.

Botetourt County gives laptops to all high school students (Video)