Palo Alto High School’s administration plans to implement a new program, the One to One Initiative, at the beginning of the 2016–2017 school year.
The One to One Initiative will encourage students to bring their own computer to school and provide Chromebooks to students who do not have have access to a personal laptop.
According to the Paly Assistant Principal of Teaching & Learning, Adam Paulson, the program will start with 10th and 11th grades, and expand throughout the next few years. He plans for the program to reach the entire student body within three years.
“Our goal for next year is to for every student in 10th and 11th grade to have a device,” Paulson said.
While a wider variety of computers is likely to cause an increased demand for tech support, the administration have planned new additions to the school to compensate for these minor setbacks.
“We plan on having a tech genius bar in the library so students and staff can come with issues to get those fixed,” Paulson said.
Other additions include lock-and-charge stations, safe places for students to charge their laptops during the school day.
Prior to teaching at Paly, computer science teacher Christopher Kuszmaul taught in a private school with a similar technology program. He looks to take advantage of this step forward, as it would increase the flexibility to hold classes in an unconventional way.
“It will allow us to do things like going out to the football field for activities that blend computer science and physics,” Kuszmaul said. “For example, this could be having students measure the time of arrival of a sound wave and use it to write a program analyzing it.”
According to Kuszmaul, although the Chromebooks are a good tool for learning, the laptops have their limits.
“I’m a little concerned that they won’t be enough to enable us to teach the spectrum of things that we want to,” Kuszmaul said.
As a result of their simplicity, Kuszmaul sees possible disadvantages in the use of Chromebooks.
“I’m not sure how easy it would be to develop code on a Chromebook,” he said. “I’m not sure it’s even possible.”
However, the overall One to One Initiative will benefit the Paly community since it will help give equal opportunities by providing computers for all students.
“I think it gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to do responsible, productive things in exchange for getting more freedom,” Kuszmaul said.