MHS goes 1:1

Mexico High School goes 1:1
Posted on 10/30/2019
From Casey Echelmeier, District Instructional Technology Coordinator

All Mexico High School students have been given personal chromebooks to assist in their daily learning.  These chromebooks provide students with unique learning opportunities.  Classroom use of chromebooks allow students to access up-to-date information and develop 21st Century and College and Career Readiness skills.  This 1:1 initiative has also allowed students to develop leadership skills in the promotion of daily positive digital citizenship practices.  

At the beginning of the school year, all students were issued a personal chromebook for instructional use.  Chromebooks are devices that connect to the Internet allowing students a digital learning experience.  While internet access is needed for full device functionality, basic functions can be managed while offline. This internet and offline access was a concern when considering a 1:1 high school chromebook initiative.  Upgraded school internet access, as well as installation of offline capabilities, allow student use both at school and home.  Even if a student has limited access to the internet outside of the school setting, the offline capabilities still allow for continued learning after school hours.

1:1 chromebooks have also allowed a shift in classroom instructional practices.  Teachers are creating more student inquiry-based learning experiences.  With access to the internet, students can research the most current information to assist in their learning.  Teachers also have the resources, with chromebook applications and digital tools, to promote a more personalized learning approach to student learning.  Students have opportunities to work at their own pace to maximize content understanding and begin creating products to showcase their understanding.  
High school administrators are committed to not only provide unique instructional practices to all students through the 1:1 chromebook initiative, but also developing a plan to promote safe and respectful student practices while online.  In September, a team of students, along with a teacher sponsor, attended a Digital Citizenship Summit sponsored by EducationPlus, a non-profit educational service industry, dedicated to providing professional development for leadership and resources to support learning, innovation, and equity for all students. Colony Bledsoe, Moenaisa Sidique, Will Dobyns, Shannon Dorsey, Mason Lower, and Shelby Kennemore, along with teacher sponsor Julie Tucker, joined seven other districts at the Digital Citizenship Summit.
At the summit, the Digital Citizenship Leadership Team learned about the three traits of digital citizenship: to respect, to educate, and to protect while working and interacting online.  The students worked to create an action plan promoting positive social media and online presence for all students.  The students shared their action plan with not only the other attending districts, but at a later meeting with high school administration.  At this meeting, the students presented their digital citizenship plan to high school principal, Brad Ellebracht. 
The first step of their plan was to guarantee all students have equitable access to the internet after school hours.  They developed a student survey regarding after school internet access that will be given to all high school students during a seminar class period.  The students will arrange with seminar teachers to introduce themselves and their new digital citizenship roles to their fellow students while explaining the purpose of the survey.  The Digital Citizenship Leadership Team hopes to provide extended library times and alternate settings for any students who may need additional internet access after school hours.
The Digital Citizenship Leadership Team also plan to create testimonials of safe online and social media presence with the assistance of the high school’s Publications class, as well as provide poster contests, and create mini digital citizenship learning experiences throughout the school year.  The students also plan to connect through video conferencing with some of the other Digital Citizenship Summit districts to exchange ideas and future strategies for continued positive digital citizenship practices within their schools.
Great things are happening at Mexico High School and Mexico School District!