Flat Lick going 1:1 with Chromebooks

Knox County’s first distinguished school will soon be the first in the district to implement a one-to-one (1:1) technology initiative.

Third through sixth grade students at Flat Lick Elementary School will soon have an opportunity to replace paper, pencils, and bulky desktop computers with their own personal Chromebook thanks to a generous donation by a former community member.

One hundred (100) Chromebook computers have been ordered by the school thanks to the Mills Tannenbaum Foundation of New York City.  It’s founder, Helen Mills, former Flat Lick resident, is donating nearly $20,000 to make the purchase possible.

“The Mills Tannenbaum Foundation continues to invest in the lives of students at Flat Lick,” said principal Steve Partin.

Partin states that the foundation has provided funding for the purchase of new library books, field trips, and other instructional resources for students.   The partnership with the foundation originally started with a focus on the arts at Flat Lick and has expanded during the past two years.

“Flat Lick is dear to their heart and they wanted to give back to the community and one way of doing that is through our school,” said Partin.

The school currently has one lab set of Chromebooks that are being shared by students in various classes.   The addition of 100 new devices will enable students in grades 3-6 to have access to the devices throughout the school day without the need of sharing.

Flat Lick teacher Donna Welch has experience with students sharing Chromebooks in her classroom and has seen firsthand the difference that they make with instruction and intervention.

“Even students that sometimes you cannot get to participate want to use the Chromebooks,” shared Welch.

Online instructional programs such as Envision Math and Reading Wonders have online lessons that Welch and other teachers are looking forward to incorporating into their daily instruction.   The programs also have online intervention that helps students that may struggle with certain concepts and ideas.  Gifted students and fast learners will also benefit from having the devices.

“One advantage is if students finish early with their work they can use the Chromebook to access other programs that we are promoting that will help improve their reading levels and math levels,” said Welch.

“They can go online and do enrichment or reteaching and get extra help if they are struggling in an area.”

Training and professional development for both students and teachers is planned as the school begins to  regularly utilize Chromebooks for instruction.