Samsung Chromebooks to Democratize Computer Access in Diverse California School District

on October 23, 2014
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Enthusiastically adopted by the Desert Sands Unified School District, Samsung Chromebooks provide students equal computer access so they can build critical computer skills, such as typing, application and processing skills. Chromebooks will also enable the district to administer the Common Core online assessments with an affordable infrastructure.

A Learning Platform for a Diverse Student Population


The Desert Sands Unified School District has a diverse student population and ensures that all students can have access to twenty-first-century computing skills. Early on, the district’s technology committee recognized the need to provide greater computing access to its students because a large number do not have the financial resources for access to devices like PCs and notebooks.


The district also needed the computing devices to administer online assessment tests for the Common Core State Standards initiative. Given tight budgets and limited IT staff, the devices needed to be affordable and require minimal support.


Desert Sands in class image

“If all our students were going to be tested online, they were going to need to know how to use a computing device and how to make it a part of their daily routine – from typing to online research,” said Sally Adams, Technology Facilitator for the district’s middle schools. “So that drove the need to get devices into the hands of students.”



Samsung Chromebooks Democratize Learning


Desert Sands chose to deploy Samsung Chromebooks across the district. Over 17,000 Samsung Chromebooks were supplied to every 5th-grade classroom, every 6th–11th grade Language Arts classroom, and every high school math classroom.


“We chose Samsung because it was one of the first to offer Chromebooks years ago and had already developed a reputation for reliability during our pilots,” said Dr. George Araya, Director of Instructional Technology.


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Samsung offers several models with a range of screen sizes and hardware configurations. The Chrome OS updates automatically so no device-level updates are needed. Student assignments and files can be stored on the Google Cloud so there are no backup and recovery hassles. When students are at home, they can access their class assignments through a Chrome browser on a desktop PC, tablet or even a smartphone.


For $30 per device, schools can utilize a web-based console available from Google to manage the entire device fleet. The Chromebooks are also easy to deploy and manage. According to a recent IDC study, it takes less than 30 minutes to deploy a Chromebook (vs. 2.5 hours for a traditional PC). The study also shows that it takes only .23 hours of IT labor per year to manage a Chromebook (vs. 2.68 hours per year for a traditional PC).


Over time, the district plans to furnish every classroom with Samsung Chromebooks so that every student will have 1:1 computing access.



Transformative for Teaching and Learning, Easy on IT


The Samsung Chromebooks have far exceeded the district’s expectations; changing the way teachers and students engage has proved to be extremely easy to set up and manage for a small IT team. They have also stood up to the wear and tear of the K-12 classroom environment.


Desert Sands - in class - image 2

“While the driver for the broad Samsung Chromebooks rollout was facilitating the CAASP online test, the real benefits have been far more profound,” said Cyndi Furr, Project Facilitator for High Schools.


Read the full Desert Sands Unified School District Case Study.



*All functionality features, specifications, and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

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