BrightBytes survey to determine what support and training is needed for one to one program


Emily Oba

[dropcap style=”flat”]O[/dropcap]n Nov. 29, Columbia Public Schools (CPS) issued a survey to all students, parents and staff about technology use at school. The BrightBytes survey’s purpose is to give school staff and students a voice and to express their needs on electronics such as computers and iPads. It is also to determine what the devices should be used for. BrightBytes is a company that helps schools in their technological needs.
“We can use [the] BrightBytes research-based framework to analyze the data in order for us to better understand our technology use, access and training needs,” said Chris Diggs, Director of the CPS Technology Services Department.
The one-to-one program that is soon coming to CPS schools gives each student their own personal technology; the two options that CPS was debating on were an iPad or laptop. An email Principal Dr. Jennifer Rukstad sent teachers said each student will receive a laptop.
Because students have already been polled to see what device they would prefer, Media Center Specialist Beth Shapiro said this survey is to determine if students and teachers need training for the technology.  
“They’ve kind of started their process of one to one and they’ve used BrightBytes to see what’s needed for support and training,” Shapiro said. “It’s kind of in tandem with the one to one process that’s going on. We don’t know what the device will be here [a RBHS].”
Sophomore Emily Litton thinks having an laptop is a better idea for school than an iPad because it is more useful.   
“[I would rather have a] laptop because they are easier to use for school work. You’re able to type which is basically all you need to do for school and can’t really be done on an iPad.”
Because of the rising usage of technology in this generation’s students, CPS thought it was necessary to have the BrightBytes survey.
“Last school year during the writing of our new district technology plan, we heard very clearly from teachers, media specialists and parents that we need to seek wider feedback about our educational technology use and needs,” Diggs said.