We are almost done with our second week of Chromebook deployment. By the end of today we will have approximately 1,101 Chromebooks in the hands of our students. The deployment has gone fairly smoothly. Students needed to submit a user agreements and pay a technology fee before a Chromebook was issued. We had a cut off of August 15 to get the Chromebook the week of August 19 and a cut off of August 22 to get the Chromebook this week. The Chromebooks were sorted by Advisory teacher and handed out in Advisory (similar to a homeroom). Not everyone's fees and paperwork got recorded properly so IT ended up passing out some Chromebooks individually this week. But all and all, we feel our staggered deployment was successful. We have about 189 students left to pick up a Chromebook. So starting next week as soon as a student submits his or her user agreement and pays the technology fee, they will be issued a Chromebook. We will be doing this on an individual basis rather than doing another mass Advisory deployment since we have so few Chromebooks left to distribute.
This week, we created a troubleshooting flowchart for our teachers. Teachers were sending students to IT and to me for every little issue that came up. In reality, most issues with Chromebooks can be handled with a restart. We are funneling all Chromebook issues through our library. Library personnel have a fix it ticket to fill out when a student comes in with a Chromebook that is damaged or not functioning. The fix it ticket is a Google Form that when submitted goes to IT. All repairs are assessed a fee and the student must pay the fee before they will receive their repaired device. We have had to replace screens, hinges, keys, keyboards. A few issues have been sent in for warranty work but most devices have been repaired by IT.
In retrospect, we should have instructed students to physically examine the Chromebook the day they received it and immediately report any damage to the library. As it is, we are getting students who are saying the machine was damaged when they received it and they waited two weeks to report the damage. True or not, we can't be sure. So we are fixing the device and in most instances, charging a fee for repair.
At the end of week two we have learned a lot. I'm sure we still have much more to learn. I hope now that the deployment is mostly over, I can get into teachers' classrooms and start helping them take advantage of the device that students have. It is an exciting time for Norfolk Senior High!