The Gainesville City School System board of education voted unanimously Monday evening to approve the purchase of 4,100 Chromebooks for pre-K through fifth-grade students. The $1,219,200 purchase will be made through SureLock Technologies using consolidated funds, according to Jill Hobson, the school system’s chief technology officer.
Hobson said the Chromebooks, if purchased today, would be expected to arrive sometime in early 2021, a timeline that is “not atypical from what we are seeing in the marketplace.” She also provided an update on the 4,000 Chromebooks purchased by the school system earlier this summer, which she said should arrive sometime in September.
The board also approved the purchase of 8,100 GoGuardian Suite classroom management bundles, a $52,812 purchase. The GoGuardian Suite, which will be installed on the Chromebooks, will give teachers the tools necessary to manage student activity on multiple devices during periods of remote learning.
Hobson said the purchase of the new Chromebooks and management software is indicative of the technology forward direction the school system is headed toward.
“We’re looking at increasing the number of devices we have and how they’re going to be used,” she said. “We want to make sure when these devices go home that they are safe. We also want to make sure in the classroom that teachers have the management tools they need to be able to deal with having more screens in use than they have had in the past. This particular management gives us those kinds of tools.”