Emmett students receive Chromebooks as part of district's blended learning model

Emmett, ID - Google Chromebooks are enhancing students' learning experiences in the Emmett School District. 

Students in grades K-12 have begun using the new devices in class after Gem County voters approved funding for the technology.

Gone are the days of lecture-style instruction. The Emmett School District is favoring a blended model, where a student's learning is guided by a teacher, and at least part of their education is offered through technology. 

"Beforehand, you'd provide all of the materials, all the worksheets, all the books," said Shelly Gurney, a fifth-grade teacher. "This allows me to tap into resources that are more global."

New Chromebooks in the district are being incorporated into K-12 classrooms, providing students with regular access to digital learning. 

"I can grab videos, activities, resources from all around the world through the internet, and bring it to my students," Gurney said. 

Students grab a Chromebook from check-out carts in classrooms and use the device for all computer-based school assignments. 

"I really like it," said Bryn Benjamin, a fifth-grader. "It makes [learning] fun and it's easier."

District leaders say the Chromebooks have become a valuable resource that students quickly adapted to.

"The students are used to technology. It's intuitive for them," said Chris Wood, blended learning specialist with the district. "They probably understand it better than a lot of the adults. We laugh about that, but they do...it's not something that takes time out of the classroom. They're quick with it."

A new addition, enhancing classroom instruction.

"It's a new process and it's a new blending of the technology and the traditional stuff that we do," Gurney said. "The possibilities are just amazing...what we could do with this."

Seniors at Emmett High School are allowed to take the Chromebooks home. They must pay $10 for an annual protection plan, and return the devices when the school year ends.

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