District 128 plans to give all students computers in 2015-16
Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 officials are planning to give every student a mobile computer starting in the 2015-16 term.
Such efforts typically are dubbed "1:1 initiatives." But District 128 officials have a different name for their proposed program.
"We're actually referring to this as our digital learning strategy rather than a 1:1 initiative," spokeswoman Mary Todoric told the Daily Herald. "The focus is really on learning and the curriculum rather than the hardware."
Administrators and members of the school board's program and personnel committee discussed the proposal Monday evening. The committee took no action on the plan.
Public and private schools in Gurnee, Palatine, Schaumburg and other suburbs have such efforts already. Nearby Mundelein High School will launch one this fall.
The roughly 3,200 students at Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools now have clawssroom-only access to carts of Chromebook laptops and iPad tablets, said Rita Fischer, the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and administration. They can't take the devices home.
In 1:1 programs, students can take their computers anywhere. The devices typically are leased by the schools, and families pay fees to participate.
District 128 officials have been investigating launching a 1:1 computer program since 2009.
The goal all along has been to determine their education needs before buying the hardware.
"The vision is: learning first, choice of tools second," Fischer said.
Board member Jim Batson praised Fischer for taking that approach.
"You're doing this the right way," Batson said. "You're setting it up for success."
With about 1,900 Chromebooks already in the district's inventory, that thin, Web-based device is the likely choice for the expanded program, Fischer told the committee.
Students still would have carts of iPads to use in school when that device's software is more useful, she said.