Malden High School is working with Sprint, which is owned by the SoftBank Corporation, to supply MHS with about 2000 Chromebooks along with mobile wi-fi cards. MHS is able to be a part of this initiative thanks to the recommendation of Senator Ed Markey. Markey was contacted by the SoftBank Corporation which was looking to start this project of Chromebooks because it seemed that he would be a good choice to test it. Malden High School was contacted for this project and due to the enthusiasm of MHS staff Sean Walsh, Natalia Brennan, Gregory Hurley, Lucia Musilli, Nathan Lamar, and others, the program was developed and is now being initiated.
The freshmen class of 2018 will receive the chromebooks “and after this year, each of the next 3 years...every freshmen will get a Chromebook,” explained Principal Dana Brown. While the Class of 2018 and following classes will receive Chromebooks, “some of [those] students will also get a mobile wi-fi card, if they do not have wi-fi at home," explained Brown.
“Sprint is helping [MHS] increase the wi-fi in the school [by] adding a hundred more hubs around the school.” The students that obtain them will hold on to them until they graduate, including during the summers leading up to their graduation.
Natalia Brennan explains how they hope to “give access to technology for all [their] kids” both in and out of school, helping to close the digital divide by giving access to technology for all students. This new initiative will give teachers the ability to assess students in different ways as well as allow students to use their creativity to do school work. Brennan explains how they are trying to discover “what happens when [they] combine what [students] are learning with the skills [they] have outside of school”. These outside activities can include “maybe documentaries, maybe [they’re] making [their] own websites, or doing something else that’s crazy”. Brennan is working currently alongside fellow MHS staff member staff member Sean Walsh to organize everything involved with the project, such as professional development for teachers and students, informing parents of what is happening, and developing all the procedures.
This new and exciting project is going to change the resources students have available to them at all times but also the ability to express themselves in a multitude of ways. Brennan emphasized how “maybe [students] are not fantastic at writing an essay but maybe [they’re] really fantastic at organizing and expressing [their] thoughts in a video”. This flexibility in learning is going to be beneficial to all students, and enhance not only their education but also their experience with learning.