It’s been more than a month since students went back to school across the Palm Springs Unified School District and students are already getting hands on with new technology. Desert Hot Springs High School is the first school in the district to provide each of their 1,800 students with a Google Chromebook.
School administrators say it’s another way to weave new technology into daily curriculum. From English to math classes, students use those laptops to write journals, answer questions provided by their teacher and interact with each other on group assignments.
"Teachers communicate to us, students communicate to them…by assigning assignments to us, we complete them by using Google docs and Google slides," said Sebastian Irene, a senior at Desert Hot Springs High School. "Kind of brings us together and be able to work as a team, not only at school but from any place, from home, the library, when you’re out of town," said Irene.
These Chromebooks are assigned to each student at the beginning of the year with their own unique login. They’re allowed to use the technology in the classroom, around the schools campus, at home and even on vacation if they choose. If a student doesn’t have access to internet at home, the school even provides them their own Wi-Fi hot-spots.
For students like Andrea Rodriquez, it’s the first time they’ve had these resources to get ahead outside of school.
"I went three years without a computer or internet at home, I had to stay after school until like four or five in the evening, trying to finish all my work," she said.
The Chromebooks cost around $300 each, for new models. Multiply that by 1,800 students and the school district is looking at a pretty hefty price tag for this technology but school leaders say it’s well worth the cost.
Textbooks will still be used in many lessons but the Chromebooks will allow teachers to drop assignments and new curriculum to the students Google accounts so they can do work in class or at home.
Administrators hope to spread the new technology to other schools in the coming years.