Minuteman Ninth-Grade Students Get “mPowered” through New One-to-One Laptop Initiative
Freshmen at Minuteman High School are now armed with digital learning devices, thanks to a new initiative called “mPower—Empower Our Revolution”.
In early March, all ninth-graders received a convertible laptop as part of Minuteman’s one-to-one program. Under the one-to-one program, each student is given an electronic device. In this case, they received an HP Probook x360 which is a laptop and a tablet (convertible laptop).
“Minuteman is committed to preparing the students for their current and future success in the digital world,” said Annamaria Schrimpf, Director of Educational Technology at Minuteman.
“These devices have the ability to enhance multiple aspects of a Minuteman student’s educational experience. By designing and giving our students access to digital environments, we encourage them to be responsible digital citizens.”
The focus of mPower is the use of the device in teaching and learning to support a 21st-century learning experience, and empowering Minuteman students to be active participants in their learning. Most of the freshmen at Minuteman take a semester-long Digital Literacy and Citizenship course educating them on the opportunities afforded them by using technology.
Students are able to use the devices in school and take them home at night and are expected to bring them back every day fully charged. Teachers are encouraged to use these valuable resources during the school day.
All laptops include a web filter that prohibits students from accessing websites at home that they are prohibited from accessing at school by the District’s Internet filtering system.
Increased responsibility for students through this tool will allow them to improve time management, increase organizational skills and advance information retrieval. In both academic courses and career majors, students will use and access electronic resources to engage in and enhance their learning experience through collaboration, curation, communication, and creativity. Minuteman is an Office 365 school that embraces the cloud-based use of software and data storage. This program will prepare students for both college and career.
Students now have instantaneous access to websites, Office 365, OneNote, Class Notebook, Microsoft Classroom, and online journals and databases. Having the device also will allow them to easily add to their ePortfolios.
This program allows opportunities for the creation of personalized and blended learning environments, enhance the creation of ePortfolios and Senior Projects, and digitize the Executive Function program.
To help increase student and school awareness, a logo was developed for the mPower initiative and a large banner was placed in the front lobby.
The mPower initiative was launched with the help of nearly a dozen Minuteman educators known as Digital Learning Curators (DLC). These dedicated teachers were instrumental in investigating potential devices to be used and in supporting teachers with the integration of technology into their teaching and learning.
The DLC team includes Design and Visual Communications teacher Allison Barry, Math teacher Justin Fraser-deHaan, English teacher Bruce Girouard, Science teachers Nina Griffin and Eric Marshall, Instructional Technology Specialist Alissa Landau, Library Media Specialist Maria Mastrocola, Special Education teacher Andie Merkowitz, Environmental Science teacher Terry Regan, and Programming and Web Development teacher Bob Voges. The team is led by Ms. Schrimpf.
Next year, the school plans to expand the program to another class of students. Minuteman is committed to ensuring that both teachers and students will be competent in the use of technology before their arrival in the new high school, soon to be under construction.
The program is being funded through the District’s regular operating budget in place of the purchase of wireless computer carts.