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Dylan Vidovich/Logan Banner Logan High School guidance counselor Jason McPeak hands a brand new boxed Chromebook to a student while others sign the required digital learning agreement on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019.

Logan County students in grades 5-12 recently became the latest in the county school system's efforts in implementing more technology into the curriculum.

Beginning Friday, Aug. 23, each student in the county in those grades was given a brand new Chromebook device that comes complete with textbooks and other learning materials.

The devices are assigned to each respective student by serial number, and students in grades 7-12 are permitted to take the Chromebooks home, while students in grades 5-6 can only use them in core subject classrooms.

The Chromebooks are the latest in technology upgrades in Logan County schools, following the implementation of iPads in pre-K through fourth grade classrooms last year when Logan County Schools signed on to the state's math4life initiative. These upgrades are funded by Local Technology Shares, which are funds earmarked by the state that can be spent only on technology.

Logan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Darlene Dingess-Adkins said the idea of assigning Chromebooks to each student came after speaking with other school districts and observing it on display at a top school in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"We knew that we wanted to roll out one-to-one devices at the secondary schools, but selecting the device was very difficult," Dingess-Adkins said. "We wanted a device that was economical to purchase, but we also wanted a good product. I happened to be at a school in Raleigh, North Carolina - it's the number one magnet school in America - and I noticed that the students there were using the Chromebooks, so I asked staff there some questions and got rave reviews from that staff. (Logan County Schools Director of School Improvement and Technology Lisa Teeters) also spoke with some other school districts in West Virginia that were using Chromebooks, and they were also pleased with them."

Logan County Schools Director of Secondary Education and Transportation Jason Browning happened to win a Chromebook at a conference. After he used it over a summer period, the choice was made.

"I think that, probably, our end goal is that students will use technology as a tool for learning, and that it will open a lot of different avenues of strategies for teachers," Dingess-Adkins said. "What we have seen up to this point is that teachers are beginning their lesson plan designing with the outcome, and then if technology can enhance that outcome, then they embed the technology usage in the lesson. We've seen some good things just this week, and they're not on them gaming, they are using them as a tool to create charts and graphs, to do research, to read a broad range of articles."

The school district has control of which apps are used and installed on the Chromebooks, and each student is required to return the device at the end of the school year before getting the same one back the following year. Before the Chromebooks were given out, students must sign a digital learning agreement that comes with several terms explaining how parents/legal guardians will be financially responsible in the event of certain accidents.

It ranges from the school taking care of a first accident to a student losing Chromebook privileges for multiple accidents or losses.

On the day the Chromebooks were being given out, most Logan High School staff and students held a positive view on the new technological opportunity.

"We're excited because students will be able to have access to devices, and teachers will be able to integrate more technology into instruction, and instead of having to rotate out computer lab or library time, they will have access to their personal device," said LHS Principal Kelly Stanley. "As far as instruction goes, we're living in a digital world, and students need to be able to have equal access."

LHS junior Ally Wiley said she sees how the Chromebooks could be efficient.

"I think it's kind of crazy that we were issued Chromebooks, because they talked about getting them, but I never thought they would actually get them, but I think it will be more efficient for students to have a Chromebook because some people can't find the devices they need for school at their house," she said.

LHS junior Emma Johnson said she sees the benefit.

"I know in my AP class, we will definitely be using them for our college board, like quizzes and stuff to get us ready for the AP exam," she said. "I think it also gives kids a sense of responsibility to be able to take them home and do all of that, and I'm sure they will be able to do homework and stuff on them because I know some kids don't have a laptop and you need a laptop to do some types of stuff you can't just do it all on your phone so giving students like that will open up more doors for more benefits and create less problems for teachers whenever they assign work on the computer."

LHS junior Brayden Williamson said, "I just hope none of the kids mistreat them or use them for bad things other than for schoolwork."

LHS senior William Bradshaw said he wishes he could have gotten one earlier. "This is my last year of school, and I've gone through school without having one for all this time," he said."I don't see why I need one now. I think it's good for kids, I mean, it helps them be more technologically advanced, because, you know, that's what the world is turning into nowadays."

Logan County Schools also recently subscribed to a service called Newsela, which provides daily news articles at five reading levels through different grades. The service offers a wide variety of articles from news sources and magazines, as well as various types of scholarly and literary text.

Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196.

Logan County Schools digital learning agreement

First accident

Electronic device: Follow school procedure with turning in a work order

Device accessories: Follow school procedure for turning in a work order

Second accident

Electronic device: Cost of repair or replacement (up to $185 maximum)

Device accessories: Cost of replacement ($50 maximum)

First loss

Electronic device: Pending investigation (up to $185 maximum)

Device accessories: Pending investigation (up to $50 maximum)

Second loss

Electronic device: Pending investigation (up to $185 maximum)

Device accessories: Pending investigation (up to $50 maximum)

Third loss

Electronic device: Cost of repair or replacement. No further devices shall be assigned to the student for the remainder of his/her tenure at Logan County Schools

Device accessories: Cost of repair or replacement. No further devices shall be assigned to the student for the remainder of his/her tenure at Logan County Schools

First intentional accident

Electronic device: Actual cost of replacement or repair

Device accessories: Actual cost of replacement

Second intentional accident

Electronic device: Cost of repair or replacement. No further devices shall be assigned to the student for the remainder of his/her tenure at Logan County Schools

Device accessories: Cost of repair or replacement. No further devices shall be assigned to the student for the remainder of his/her tenure at Logan County Schools

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