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Separate School and Home Devices

Providing high quality devices for each student at school, as well as loaner devices they can take home

Overview

Bronx Arena provides each student with a new Macbook. While the initial upfront cost is high, the school sees two main benefits to these devices: 1) greater longevity and less maintenance costs over the life of the device, and 2) creating a “wow” factor for students. Every student attending Bronx Arena is there because other schools didn’t work out for them in some way. Providing them with a top of the line device sends a strong signal to students that Bronx Arena is invested in their success. Each student has their own device and gets to treat it like their own (adding stickers, changing backgrounds, etc); however, the devices must stay at school. There are high crime areas in the proximity of the school, and students taking expensive Macbooks home could become a safety issue.

Bronx Arena provides loaner devices for students who wish to take devices home. While a good percentage of students already have access at home, those that don’t can check out a Chromebook or older Macbook. To ensure at-home loaner devices are used productively, Bronx Arena has two requirements for students who take them home:

  1. Students demonstrate a clear learning goal connected to using their device at home. This usually requires the student to meet with a teacher and discuss what sort of work they plan to do at home. This helps the teacher and student identify which work would be best suited for asynchronous at-home learning, and which work would be best to do in school with teacher support.
  2. Students must meet Bronx Arena’s productivity benchmark. Bronx Arena recommends that students should complete five learning tasks a day, helping them monitor their productivity. These tasks are tracked, and students who are completing less than this amount, on average, are not able to check out devices. This benchmark provides an early indicator for students needing instructional supports and interventions from school staff, and at-home independent learning is rarely the best fit for these students.