Leavitt High School
Leavitt High School, in Turner, Maine is one of several schools that makes up Rural School Unit 52. What sets Leavitt apart is their smart use of resources to find technology solutions that fit their individual needs.
Maine is a pioneer in the “1 to 1” educational movement, deploying a laptop to every junior high student in the state. The program, however, is not without its flaws. Costly and high maintenance, the laptops provided by the state run program were not viable for Leavitt High School. Leavitt wanted to expand the laptops into the high school so that their students would have the resources available to them that other Maine students have, but as a district they could not afford to buy into the state program. Leavitt researched different options, gathered data, spoke with experts, and determined they had found a better solution for their school and their students.
They elected to use Open 1 to 1 and netbooks. This provided Leavitt with “... a better solution...in every aspect” noted Randy Pitts, the school technology director. The netbooks were deployed throughout the high school. By using Open 1 to 1, Leavitt saved so much money that they were able to purchase an additional 100 netbooks that were used by the elementary school, and they expect to purchase more this year.
How was this possible? Leavitt went from unable to afford the state program to expanding not only throughout the high school but also into the elementary school.
Open 1 to 1 was simply the better solution. The netbooks cost less, the imaging solution was better, the machines were so intuitive that they didn't need additional training, and the operating system has been rock solid: no viruses, software corruption, or maintenance.
The netbooks are light, so they are easier for students to carry with them from class to class; school to home. Students are assigned their netbook for all four years of high school, and there is evidence that this increases ownership and the care of the machines. This is high school, though, and Leavitt has decided to offer an another computer case for a small fee.
Open 1 to 1 has met Leavitt's needs, and exceeded their expectations. To quote one teacher, “the netbooks are better and faster than the desktop PCs in the classroom. I'm delighted that all of the high school students now have them.”
To find out what Open 1 to 1 can do for your school, please visit www.open1to1.org.
Oxford Hills High School in western Maine has over 1200 netbooks with Open 1 to 1 deployed throughout the school.
They originally looked at the state-run MLTI program as it was expanding to high schools but rejected it because of expense. Since the deployment of Open 1 to 1, the school has offered training opportunities for teachers and the IT department has customized the Open 1 to 1 image to suit their specific needs. In fact, the IT department hound the Open 1 to 1 imaging process to be faster and easier than any other solution.
Oxford Hills is using cloud-based applications, so that any platform can be used in the school. Of the installed software, FirstClass and Google Docs are the programs used the most throughout the school. The Math department raves about Geogebra and both English and Social Studies teachers use blogs and writing assignments to engage their students in and out of the classroom.
The school is concerned about breakage, and they report a high percentage of repairs due to physical damage. They are selecting new cases for the next academic year with an aim of cutting down on preventable damages.
At year end the school offered a purchase program for seniors, and 20 graduating students bought their netbooks outright. Oxford Hills expects more students to purchase netbooks next year as the prices will be even lower than the previous year.