Manhasset Board of Education checks out Chromebooks

Harrison Marder

Members of the Manhasset Board of Education and the community got a chance Thursday to experience the new Google Chromebook laptop computers that have become a part of every English classroom in grades 7-12.

The Tower Foundation, a philanthropic not-for-profit organization of Manhasset alumni and parents and parents that help support the school district, donated 360 Chromebooks to the district this year by collecting $100,000 through fundraising efforts.

“The generosity of The Tower Foundation has provided each English and reading instructional classroom with a set of Chromebooks,” said Dr. Patrick O’Reilly, District Coordinator for English Language Arts and Reading. “These devices are highly valuable because they give English classes a portal for individual and group activity, they give teachers a means to comment on student writing in real time, and they make each English classroom a research center, as students have access to on-line databases, library resources, and reference guides. The Chromebooks have proven a wonderful asset for teaching the skill of critical reading and the craft of well-developed writing. The English and Reading Departments are most grateful for this Chrombook initiative of the Tower Foundation.”

Superintendent Charles Cardillo said that as of the beginning of this school year, 13 English classrooms are now equipped with Chromebooks, a charging cart and a printer. 

Cardillo said the Tower Foundation’s $100,000 donation covered the cost of 360 Chromebooks. The district spent approximately $34,000 to purchase 30 additional Chromebooks as well as the charging carts and printers, he said. The funds spent by the district were allocated from the budget. 

Board of Education President Regina Rule got to experience the Chromebook herself, as she logged in as a student and saw what students using the Chromebook would see. 

Rule said the Chromebooks allow students to collaborate on assignments and allow teachers to see how many students have submitted assignments in real time. 

The Chromebooks also provide students with their own account, Rule said, which allows them to save their work right on the computer. 

“[The Chromebooks] are magnificent for these kids,” she said. 

Students also have access to the entire suite of  Google and Microsoft software through the Chromebooks, Rule said.  

During the summer and fall of 2014, Cardillo said he, Sean Adcroft, Director of Informational Technology, Charles Leone Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Anthony Ambrogio, Administrator for the Arts & Human Resources met with the Tower Foundation’s leadership team to begin the conversation about getting the Chromebooks into English classrooms. 

Cardillo said the foundation’s leadership team felt getting the Chromebooks was a priority, and they began moving the initiative forward.

In January, Cardillo said O’Reilly helped coordinate the professional development of teachers who would be using the Chromebooks in their classrooms. 

This professional development allowed teachers to learn about the equipment before it was put in the classroom, Cardillo said. 

[O’Reilly’s] department has done a tremendous of implementing and embracing the initiative,” Cardillo said. 

Cardillo also praised the Tower foundation for their help. 

“Without the Tower Foundation we would not [have been] able to move ahead with the initiative this year,” he said. 

Rule said the Chromebooks have been embraced by students. 

The next board meeting will be on Thursday Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Shelter Rock Elementary School. 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harrison Marder

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