DHS Prepares for Implementation of 1:1 Learning Device Plan


The first school Chromebooks began being distributed in the Learning Commons during August.

Starting between late September to early October, a new “DHS 1:1 Learning Device” plan will be finalized for all Decatur High School students. Under this program, all students will be issued a personal DHS Chromebook for the 2021-2022 school year, which they will be required to use.  


Why You Have to Switch 


This switch will eliminate the necessity of the “Bring Your Own Learning Device” (BYLD) wifi network, and will ensure that students are prepared to join school from home in the event of a weather or COVID induced shutdown.  


Career and Technical Education Director, Duane Sprull, elaborated more on the reasoning for the significant decision: “The problematic wifi and chromebooks do a lot less than your typical desktop does, but we have to be ready in the pandemic now,” he explained. “If we go out today, we expect students to be online. That was a main reason why the 1:1 decision was made, because if we do have to go back home we are prepared and it’s an easy transition.”

Library interns worked to organize Chromebook chargers, which every student will receive along with their device.


Sprull also explained that with all students using school devices, everyone will be on a “level playing field,” with the same limitations, restrictions, and resources across all school-controlled Chromebooks.


During the City Schools of Decatur Board of Education meeting on August 10th, in the Board’s proposal for more student devices it was also argued that “an enhanced equipment pool [could] better support students’ access to technology within the schoolhouse, and at some sites, help minimize physical movement and equipment sharing.” The Board of Education also argued that this change is necessary because of the “ongoing uncertainty about community health and our instructional delivery model due to COVID-19.” 


Sprull agreed that this plan would’ve happened despite the pandemic, but it was this large push that accelerated the process. 


 When You Will Have to Switch


A small proportion of students opted to switch to a school device as soon as the option was given.

Sprull said that although the original date was set to September 1st, it was pushed back and there is no official date at this time.


“We won’t set a hard deadline, instead the announcement will be some weeks out so every student can transition,” Sprull said. “We want to make sure everyone has a school device in their hands before we turn off the BYLD network. So once everyone has made the switch, then we will give notice a couple weeks out that the wifi will be turned off.”


On August 6, the DHS Learning Commons began distributing Chromebooks to students during their Advisement period. However, most students chose not to take a computer,  instead opting to use their personal device until the 1:1 learning switch occurs. All students will receive a Chromebook from the Learning Commons as the approximate deadline for the switch approaches.


Sprull acknowledged that some students use personal devices in career tech classes, so the administration wants to allow adequate transition time for these students. 


More Details About the Plan 


Classes that require technology beyond Chromebooks, including Architecture, Graphic Design, Convergence Media, Yearbook, and more will continue to have Apple Macbooks in the room available for students’ use. 

Hundreds of new devices were ordered to ensure there will always be a sufficient amount despite Chromebooks being lost, damaged, or forgotten at home.

If students report problems with their school-issued device, they will be able to trade it in for the same model, rather than previously when they would receive “either nothing or a lesser model” in exchange. 


Sprull explained how the process will work: “While your device is in the library, we have a weekly pick up where a company comes in and picks up the Chromebooks to repair, so you’ll never be without a Chromebook. We have a certain percentage of backup devices to make sure we can accommodate all students who either have issues with their chromebooks or forgot them at home.” 


The new 1:1 plan is a highly significant change that will affect a large portion of the student body. However, Sprull believes that, because of the sufficient number of devices that the school will have, it should run smoothly.