• CMS investing in 150,000 Chromebooks for students

    By: Brittney Johnson


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is dispersing 150,000 Chromebooks this year to give students more opportunities to learn online.

    With so much more access to the internet, the district has plans to protect kids on the web.

    Channel 9 visited Garinger High School to see students using their Chromebooks.

    CMS is making sure every student goes through its digital citizenship course to learn how to make safe choices online.

    CMS invested millions in putting these Chromebooks on students’ desks.

     “Teachers tell us engagement is high in the classrooms,” said chief information officer Valerie Truesdale. “If they have curiosity, they can go and extend their knowledge.”

    Since curiosity can also land students in trouble online, tech specialists spent the summer working on the digital citizenship program.

    The students are learning to protect their passwords, image and personal safety.

    “They need to protect their digital imprint and also need to be careful about being kind to others,” Truesdale said.

    Students click through real stories and videos showing the dangers of posting personal information.

    One showed a girl posting details about her life, not knowing she's becoming vulnerable to predators.

    CMS customized the program for each grade level and targeted real issues.

    They're highlighting the good and bad ways to use this critical educational tool hoping students will stay out trouble and on task.

    “In high schools, with video and recording videos of students fighting,” said Heather Ramsey, an instruction tech. “If we can give them these experiences and show them what can go wrong in the safety of our classrooms, we hope it’s going to protect them.”

    For now, students only use the Chromebooks on campus.

    But now that there are more of them, officials could reopen the discussion on whether to allow students to take them home.

    CMS also relies on filters to keep students off sites like Facebook in class. Teachers can monitor students’ online activity in real time.

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