Sabine Pass ISD currently has 5 Dremel Idea Builder, 1 Ultimaker 2 Extended+, and 1 FormLabs Form 2 3D printers. The printers are used in all subjects throughout all grade levels. 3D Design classes are available to students as an elective. 3D printing provides our students with many opportunities. Not only does it enhance core subject curriculum, but also provides real world experience in engineering, mathematics, and science. Many schools are beginning to adopt 3D printing in STEM and Robotics programs as well as integration into core curriculum. An article about 3D printing in schools can be read here.
Robin/Rob the Robot
Robin/Rob the Robot is a is a new productivity improvement solution that enables a person to replicate him or herself in a distant location and have the freedom to move around as if they were physically there made by VGO Communications. Robin/Rob has opened up academic and social environments to students with disabilities and immune-deficiencies. There are no longer boundaries between them and the world that was previously inaccessible. VGo enables students to:
Receive the same instruction as their peers
Move around/between classrooms independently
Socialize with friends in the hallways and at lunch
Participate in a full school day with their classmate
Sabine Pass ISD has 2 drones, Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 4. We currently use the drones in our video/editing class to teach students how to fly drones with a commercial video purpose for real estate, cinematography, construction, and insurance. We are also introducing basic programming skills to our elementary students using DroneBlocks in which students pre-program flights to achieve an objective (ex. class photo on the football field). Other potential future uses are:
The Raspberry Pi is a credit card size "mini computer" that can be programmed to do just about anything. Students use these devices from elementary up to high school to teach basic to advance computer programming. Basic computer programming skills teach students the following necessary skills:
1. Logical thinking
2. Problem solving
Not all students will become computer programmers, but certainly all will need these skills to be successful in any occupation they chose to pursue.
Other Technologies Used
Sabine Pass ISD places many different technology tools in the classroom to help students better understand concepts through projects using technology. Below are a few currently in our classrooms today:
Hot Wheels Speedometry
Dash and Dot
What device are we getting?
Teachers are issued the Samsung Chromebook 2. Students receive the Lenovo Chromebook N21 and N22.
Sabine Pass ISD is a Google district. The Google ecosystem provides a robust, low cost (actually free), cloud-based platform that is a good fit for achieving TEKS and other curriculum goals. Chromebooks are an affordable Internet appliance that will get students onto the Internet and to utilize the Google Apps suite. Because of their tremendous adoption rates in K12, we can be assured that Chromebooks will be compatible with major web-based applications moving forward. At the same time, teachers and students are not locked into the device per se, as Google Apps can be accessed from PCs, Macs, iPads, Androids, etc.
Can I use the Chromebook if I don't have WiFi access?
There are ways to use the Chromebook, even if you don't have WiFi (online) access.
Chrome apps. Apps are free-standing "programs" that you can install from the Chrome Web Store. Many apps operate offline.
Drive Offline. Google Drive is the folder organization of Google Docs. While Google Docs are online, you can activate Drive Offline, download Docs to you Chromebooks file storage, and work on them offline. This includes editing existing Docs as well as creating new Docs. Then, when you have WiFi access and are back online, Google Drive syncs your files, updating changes and additions you made offline. Click for more information on Drive Offline, check out this help file and video.
When are students getting Chromebooks?
Students receive their Chromebooks during the first week of school, and return them the last week of school.
If I work on a Google Doc, can I save it to the hard drive? What if I don’t have a Wi-Fi connection?
Google Docs has an offline mode. You can work on a document or create a new document offline and sync changes once you are back online.
What are the shortcomings/weaknesses of Chromebooks?
The Chromebook is a simple and easy to use device, but it is not without its shortcomings. Here are a list of them and what you can address them.
Minimal storage space: Chromebooks have 16GB of storage locally and unlimited space online. This should suffice for regular use cases, but do not expect to store your entire music collection and photos on the device. You can upload videos to YouTube through your district Google user account. You can also store videos offline on media like a flash drive or external hard drive.
Lack of powerful desktop applications (programs): Chromebooks do not have powerful desktop applications, such as Photoshop, Premiere/Final Cut Studio, or even iTunes. However, there are free, lower powered substitutes such as Pixlr, Youtube, and Google Music for those aforementioned apps. It will be important to explore, understand, and share these alternatives with friends. You can find apps at Google's Chrome App Store by selecting the Store app on your Chromebook.
Printing at school/home: You can print at school on a desktop computer. Note: Document sharing through Google Docs/Drive reduces the need for printing. This is the case for administration, teachers, and students.