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Lee’s Summit R-7 provides a Chromebook for each K-12 student

One-to-one Chromebooks further engage students, raises level of critical thinking

Connect2Learn is helping students be more successful in school

Since its initiation last fall, the Lee’s Summit R-7 Connect2Learn program is further engaging students in school while leveling the playing field for all students regardless of family income. Through this new program, students from kindergarten through high school received a Google Chromebook during August 2015 with more than 17,500 devices distributed during just a few weeks.

Connect2Learn provides equitable access for all students and teachers both at school and at home,” said Dr. Amy Gates, R-7 executive director of technology. “No longer do teachers have to schedule technology into their lesson and wait until they can reserve a computer lab. The technology device is always there for students and teachers to use to broaden the learning beyond the classroom and support the individualized needs of each student.”

Dr. Kevin Daniel, R-7 associate superintendent of instruction and leadership, added that the district’s teachers are constantly seeking to move students to think, process information, collaborate and consistently use problem-solving skills.

“Connect2Learn is raising the level of student engagement,” Dr. Daniel added, “raising the level of critical thinking.”

An important component of Connect2Learn’s success has been comprehensive training offered for teachers to help them increase their ability to design lessons that are empowering and engaging in the one-to-one environment.

Misty Beichley, a first-grade teacher at Mason Elementary, said Connect2Learn has helped her students become more independent when it comes to extending their learning.

“They can take the concepts they are learning in class and continue to research, explore or practice the skills and ideas when they have time outside of the classroom,” Ms. Beichley said. “I am excited to see the excitement my students have when they cannot wait to come to school to show me something that they have found on their own about our unit of study.”

Ricky Boedeker, Pleasant Lea Middle School science teacher, said that students are discovering new apps, resources and educational interactives to support their own learning each day. “However, I feel we are only beginning to see what students are capable of using this technology,” he said. “We could be providing the intrigue or tools for future web programmers, entrepreneurs and scientists with this experience.”

Ginny Blumhorst, Cedar Creek Elementary second-grade teacher, said she appreciates the ability to make technology purposeful and go deeper into the curriculum with the one-to-one Chromebooks.       

For more information about Connect2Learn, please visit http://connect2learn.lsr7.org/.  This website features a popular FAQs page that is updated as additional questions about the program are submitted. Twitter followers are encouraged to keep up with information about the rollout at the hashtag #r7connect2learn.