Laptops for Student Success

SD8 technology initiative rolls out this fall across the district

Students at W.E. Graham were some of the first students in the district to benefit from the Laptops for Learning initiative rolling out across the district this fall. “This initiative puts technology in the hands of our learners and demonstrates SD8’s commitment to equity and barrier-free access to learning for all of our students.” says Nick Howald, Director of Information Technology.

On February 9, 2021 the Board of Education approved the plan to provide laptops to support student learning, committing to issuing laptops directly to students entering Grades 7 and 10, respectively in the fall of 2021. Over the summer, a total of 810 laptops were procured and SD8 IT staff implemented the necessary back-end controls and configurations to provide long-term support to students and staff under this initiative. The roll out to put the laptops into the hands of students began this September, beginning with W.E.Graham students in Slocan.

“Our grade seven students are pretty excited” shared Mike Hurley, Principal of W.E.Graham. “I like that they trust us to have our own!” exclaimed one student. Another student commented, “The laptops are fast, and I can already use the programs!” “So cool!”

On top of being the heroes to deliver the laptops directly to students at the various school locations, IT staff are providing students information about device care (cleaning and safe storage), best practices for password protection and how to request IT support in the event a device gets damaged.

Many SD8 Teachers utilize online learning environments with their students such as Google Workspace for Education, Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud to support the implementation of the K-12 BC career education curriculum. The Laptops for Student Success initiative is intended to further support digital literacy, teach responsibility and enable technology to be available in the classroom. The laptops also limit the need for students to utilize personal devices to access information in the classroom.

The decision whether laptops can be taken home rests with the individual schools. Distribution of the laptops to all remaining schools is expected to be complete by mid-October.

For more information

Nick Howald, Director of Information Technology

About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake)

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.