• Boyertown Middle School 1:1 Program
     
    The Boyertown Area School District is beginning its fourth year of the 1:1 PC Laptop Initiative which started at the Senior High. The laptop program will include students in grades 6, 7, and 8 this year. Each middle school student will be issued a laptop computer to be used in the classroom throughout the day. Laptops will not be taken home. Students will start and end their day in homeroom where they will retrieve and store their assigned laptop.

    This is an exciting time for the community, our middle school students, teachers and the school district.  We have moved into a new era!  The immediate access to computers and increased use of computers in education will have a beneficial effect on educational outcomes.  We are committed to preparing our students to be able to compete in a global market through the utilization of the 1:1 program.  We hope to bring the 21st century to the forefront as well as engage students in creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.


    1:1 Parents & Students 

    1:1 Guiding Principles 

    Consistency and Equity of Access
    Equal access to a flexible and potent computer provides learning opportunities for students who may not otherwise have access to current technology. In contrast to traditional computer-on-a-cart models, where technology intermittently visits a classroom for a special learning occasion, the laptops will be a permanent instructional companion, both in school and at home. Personal device ownership heralds a seismic shift in student learning opportunities. Classroom ecologies will change as we meet students on their technology-rich playing field and then ask them to up their game. All students, regardless of socio-economic status, will be equal players in a new school ethos. 
     
    Engagement and Ownership 
    Research indicates that 1:1 programs have considerable positive impact on student motivation. Many 1:1 schools reported a decline in discipline issues and a measurable increase is student engagement. When we trust our students to take ownership of a personal, customizable, potent and dynamic learning tool, we believe our school culture will fundamentally change as well. 
     
    Science Technology Engineering and Math (Problem Solving) 
    Laptops are computational and analytical devices for engineering, math, and science. By offering the inherent flexibility of a full laptop, students will develop problem-solving abilities and practice higher-order thinking. These skills are now, more than ever, essential to empowering our students for the new economy and ultra-globalized workforce. 
     
    Writing and Language Arts 
    The flat-world technology revolution asks us to rethink our notion of what it means to be educated and literate in the 21st Century. However, one traditional skill remains unchanged: the ability to artfully and effectively self-express through writing. Blogs, reports, essays, and posts; writing across multiple modalities is learning made visual–and a full keyboard is still the most efficient tool to hone this skill. 
     
    Curiosity and Accessibility 
    We wish to invite students to direct and take ownership of their learning. Their curiosity should not be confined to the classroom or bound by a locked technology device. Students are encouraged to delve into a powerful set of learning software and creative programs. Exploration and discovery is a key goal of the 1:1 computing initiative; student laptops will be specially configured to safely facilitate this critical objective. 
     
    Anytime, Anyplace Learning 
    Personal laptops will be a student’s travel companion for his or her entire academic career. Importantly, anytime/anyplace means the lines between school learning and home learning are abolished. With technology access barriers removed, students may work at a time and place of their choosing. Impromptu home learning opportunities are now possible as education moves beyond the walls of a traditional school building.

    1:1 Support 

    Our Internet bandwidth as of July 2017 is 3 Gigabits per second (Gbps). Our primary Internet connection is provided by the Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) Wide Area Network (WAN) Consortium. Our secondary Internet connection is provided by Windstream, for an additional 1 Gigabit Mbps. We continually monitor bandwidth use to ensure we have adequate resources. 
     
    Network Monitoring and Management
    The District utilizes various monitoring tools including HP's Intelligent Management Center (IMC), which is a monitoring and reporting system for enterprise networks. IMC will give the District an in-depth look at what traffic is flowing over the network. The District can monitor individual switches and wireless access points, to better understand where the trouble spots are, and help to address those issues.
     
    Wireless
    All 1:1 initiatives require a robust wireless network to succeed. We currently have access points in every other classroom and shared use rooms, the demands on our wireless network will continue to grow as more students receive devices. We are closely working with our vendors to optimize our entire infrastructure to support this initiative.
     
    Server/Network and End-User Software
    District software licenses of educational and network applications are licensed for a specific amount of devices and are licensed on a Microsoft Network platform. These licenses will need to be re-evaluated and possibly increased or upgraded. We are leveraging many web applications, such G-Suite and Office 365, that are free, cost-effective or included with existing agreements.
     

    1:1 FAQ's 
    Why are we doing this? 
    To be consistent with our Mission Statement, Boyertown Area School District has an obligation to prepare students for an ever-changing world, that sees technological advancements happening at a rapid rate. We believe that every student has a right to an education that prepares them for further education and future employment, and develops the skills that they must have as citizens of the 21st Century: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. As our district moves towards 1:1, we will ensure that every student in every class will have the opportunity to learn in an engaging environment reflective of the world that surrounds all of us. 
     
    What will this cost and who is paying for it? 
    A primary goal of the initiative is to create a 21st Century learning environment, in a fiscally responsible manner. Just as the district currently provides high-quality textbooks and other instructional materials for students, the district will supply quality devices to meet the instructional demands of today's learners. Devices are instructional tools, and the district is looking closely at the spending patterns on current instructional materials and supplies, to reallocate some of those funds towards this initiative.
     
    What is 1:1?
    1:1 (pronounced one to one) is where a computer is assigned to a student to keep while he/she attends school at the Boyertown Area School District. At this time, students attending Middle School are not permitted to take the laptops home, unlike the Senior High where students are permitted.
     
    What are some of the guiding principles of this program?
    In exploring a one to one program, we are led by some guiding principles that include anytime, anyplace learning, engagement and ownership, consistency and equity of access, science and mathematics advancement, high level of literacy and writing ability, and curiosity and accessibility. More information about the guiding principals can be found on the Guiding Principles tab.
     
    Has Boyertown tested this type of implementation and learning with any students?
    The Boyertown Senior High School is starting its fourth year of 1:1 with grades 9 - 12 having a laptop that they will retain until graduation. Classes are considered blended learning classes; learning can take place in person or be augmented and expanded online through various resources. Some software tools that have allowed this to occur are Google Drive/Classroom/Docs, Nearpod, Kahoot, Padlet, and Edmodo, just to name a few. We have made several adjustments to the program and are carrying this learning philosophy into the middle and elementary schools.