Theresa Dardanell

Catoctin High School (CHS) is one of four Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) high schools chosen to participate in the One-To-One Device pilot program, in which all students receive a Chromebook to use at school. Students have the option to also take the Chromebooks home or choose the “bring your own device” option and use their own devices, to include laptops, tablets, or smartphones, at school as well as at home.

A Chromebook is similar to a laptop but is designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet. Most applications and documents “live in” the cloud.

CHS English Teacher Kathy Herrmann explained that her students work with Google Classroom. This web service allows students to check assignments, get extra help, and communicate with the teacher at school and at home. She also uses websites like Kahoot and Quizlet, which promote interaction between students in class.

CHS Media Specialist Kate Mills said that students have many databases and reference books available online; with the Chromebook, they can access them at any time, instead of just during computer lab. Teachers incorporate “acceptable and responsible use of the internet” as a part of their lessons.

Assistant Principal Kelly Kirby said that because the students are enthusiastic about using technology, the teachers can redirect that interest into their instructions. Lessons have been redesigned for online use, and teachers were given training on how to use online resources. “The response to the One-To-One program has been positive for teachers and students.”

Students in Kathy Herrmann’s class use Chromebooks, with the website Kahoot.

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