IMPACT PORTRAITS

Success stories with Google for Education

Park Ridge, IL

Maine Township High School District 207

Maine Township High School District 207, located in the Chicago suburbs, was one of the earliest adopters of G Suite for Education in a K–12 educational context. Now, it’s a district with one Chromebook for each student and teacher. Over the past eight years, Maine Township High School District 207 embraced technology in multiple aspects of their curriculum while giving teachers sufficient training and time to integrate Chromebooks and G Suite for Education at their own pace. The Chromebooks also work to bridge the digital divide. In a school district where a third of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, the Chromebook is their day-to-day tool for getting things done. As a result, test scores remain steady despite outside factors (such as an increase of students from low-income households) that typically cause a decline.

District facts Public school district Total district enrollment

Grades served

Number of schools

6,300 417

9

5

Students

Teachers (FTE)

12

Google tools

7,500 Chromebooks 5 Years using Chromebooks 8 Years using G Suite for Education 100% Students using G Suite for Education

3 Large high schools 2 Academies

Free/reduced price lunch

29%

of students qualify

Ethnicity 60% White 21% Hispanic/Latino 14% Asian 2% Black/African American 2% Two or more races

Why Chromebooks • It helps students even outside of class: more than 60% of the students use a Chromebook as their primary computing device when they are at home. • When each student has a Chromebook, teachers can use quick formative assessments at the beginning of class or as homework to pinpoint specific gaps in knowledge and skills, even if students won’t ask for help. • Students receive support for their Chromebooks at student-run help desks called the ChromeDepot, where students learn real-life skills such as customer service, computer repair, and how to train others.

Maine Township High School District 207

As Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) student population grew, ACT scores continued to outperform 29.1

30

22.7

20

21.7 10

24

22

11.7

0

20 2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

% Maine 207 FRL students

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

ACT composite scores

Results The administrative leadership in Maine 207 believes G Suite for Education and Chromebooks are central to the success of the students in the district. According to Dr. Mike Pressler, East High School Principal, “This is about weaving technology into everything we do—especially differentiating instruction and students collaborating. Educational technology is a tool, not a strategy.” The district used ACT scores as the main measure of student educational attainment, because until recently, all high school students in Illinois took the ACT. Scores from 2015 show that both Maine 207’s average scores in each subject area and Maine 207’s composite scores are higher than the state and national averages. ACT scores stayed constant over the past several years as Maine 207’s demographics changed, with an increase in low-income populations accompanying an increase in racial and ethnic

“This is about weaving technology into everything we do—especially differentiating instruction and having students collaborating. Education technology is a tool, not a strategy.”

diversity. The increase in low-income students made Chromebooks even more valuable: more than 60% of the students use a Chromebook as their primary computing device when they are at home. “The ability to collaborate with peers from anywhere, and to do that with teachers, is not only unprecedented, it’s truly life-changing,” says Jason Klein, Assistant Superintendent of Technology and Learning of Maine Township High School District 207. The decrease in the income level of students’ families that Maine 207 experienced typically results in falling test scores. However, the district maintained high ACT scores even as the student population changed. Hank Thiele, the former Assistant Superintendent of Technology and Learning at Maine 207, explains “We constantly get better. The way we use Google and other technology to support teachers allows us to improve.”

60%+

of students use their Chromebook as primary computing device at home

Dr. Mike Pressler, Maine East High School Principal

Maine Township High School District 207

ACT scores from 2015: compares Maine 207 scores with state and national averages 23 22.1

21.9

22.0

21.9

21.5

21.4

21 20.3

20.7

20.4

20.8

20.8

20.6

20.9

20.7

21.0

19 English

Reading

Math Maine 207

Science

Illinois

Comp.

Nation

How they got there Maine Township High School District 207 is a district of 6,300 students in three high schools located in the Chicago suburbs. The district was among the earliest K–12 educational users of G Suite for Education, starting in the Fall of 2008, when they began rolling out software to students. A rollout for staff followed in 2009. The district piloted the use of Chromebooks in a limited deployment of 400 over the next few years,

but teachers were frustrated by the limitations of learning labs and device carts. Teachers and district leaders both felt increasing the number of devices to allow access all day would make digital instruction grow and improve. In 2013, students in grades nine and ten received the first 4,000 Chromebooks. The district added Chromebooks to reach all students in the ensuing years.

The switch to digital texts saves money and back pain—Chromebooks are significantly lighter than textbooks 500

25

400

20

300

15

200

10

100

5

0

Total savings: textbooks vs. Chromebooks

1,339.90 Cost ($) 56.72 Weight (lbs)

0 Freshman Accelerated

Sophomore Accelerated Cost difference

Junior Accelerated

Senior Accelerated

Weight difference

Maine Township High School District 207

The freedom to choose District leaders found that when every student had a device, it changed how teachers and students thought about technology and digital resources. The district gave teachers the opportunity and support to teach with Chromebooks and G Suite for Education without forcing changes in pedagogy in individual classrooms. “We think these are a critical set of skills. Not just to use cool tools, but to be able to create, problem-solve and collaborate,” says Klein. In many cases, the district found this approach gave reluctant teachers room to go at their own pace. Once teachers had a greater comfort level, the approach assuaged worries they had regarding the use of Chromebooks.

Differentiated learning Although teachers “took the temperature” of the class well before devices were present, Chromebooks and Google Forms make the process far more efficient. Teachers can use quick formative assessments at the beginning of class or as homework to pinpoint specific gaps in knowledge and skills, even if students won’t speak up and ask for help. “G Suite for Education allows students to have a voice in their learning even if they’re shy or quiet. It allows students who process information differently to do so at their own pace,” says Klein. One teacher explained she used a pre-assessment and found that half of the students didn’t understand a key concept, so she changed the plan for what she covered in that day’s class period.

Challenges become opportunities Students in Maine 207 receive support for their Chromebooks at student-run help desks called the ChromeDepot. Many of these student “Tech Geniuses” explain that they learn real-life skills such as customer service, computer repair, and how to train others. These student leaders are essential, ensuring that students and staff get help when they need technology-related assistance. Moreover, it puts the students in the new role of helping teachers, linking tech support with improvements in student college and career skills.

Customer service Computer repair Train others

“The ability to collaborate with peers from anywhere, and to do that with teachers, is not only unprecedented, is truly life-changing.” Jason Klein, Assistant Superintendent

Copyright © 2016 Evergreen Education Group

Maine Township High School District 207

Maine Township High School District 207 - Services

Students receive support for their Chromebooks at student-run help desks called the ChromeDepot, where students learn real-life skills such as customer service, computer repair, and how to train others. Grades served. Total district enrollment. Google tools. Ethnicity. Number of schools. Free/reduced price lunch. 9 12. 5.

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