Amherst Central Schools encourage collaboration across school years and at home

Challenge

Amherst Central Schools wanted to introduce tools to empower students and staff to collaborate and share ideas between classrooms and across school years, both at school and when working from home. The schools also needed a new email platform for students and teachers, because their previous system was clunky.

'Learning is meant to be a social and collaborative process. Other devices that we evaluated were designed to be individual devices and didn’t foster collaboration like Chromebooks.'

Anthony Panella, Amherst Central Schools, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction

Solution

In 2010 Amherst Central Schools chose Gmail as its email system and introduced G Suite for Education for all students and teachers. Shortly thereafter, the district launched a device pilot programme and rolled out Chromebooks district-wide. Today classrooms for US grades 3–12 are equipped with Chromebook carts with one device for every student. The combination of G Suite for Education and Chromebooks encourages students to collaborate and work in teams, allowing teachers to share resources and best practices. Currently, about 70 per cent of the district has a 1:1 Chromebook environment. The district’s goal is to introduce a 1:1 model district-wide by the autumn of 2018.

Organisation Profile

Located in the largest suburb of Buffalo, New York, Amherst Central Schools are known across the state for their music and arts programmes. The district educates 2,900 students across two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The mission of Amherst Central Schools is to prepare its diverse student body to succeed in their future careers and to be productive citizens of the community.

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