Landon outlines new technology plan

Landon is instituting a sustainable, school-wide and integrated approach to technology that calls for the school to adopt Microsoft Surface Pro computers in the next three years starting in the 2019-20 school year.

"This plan embraces developmental and divisional needs while connecting teachers and students to platforms and programs that will promote uniformity," said the Director of Educational Technology and Libraries, Laurie Sears. "Creating a one Landon approach will allow students and teachers to spend less time learning how to use the programs and more time using them to explore, create, and express themselves in effective ways."

The school's current configuration uses a combination of computer labs, tablet carts, Google Chromebooks, Apple mini-iPads, as well as voluntary bring-your-own devices (BYOD) for students in Forms II through Form VI. The new plan calls for the school to use exclusively Microsoft products for both software (Office 365 suite) and hardware (Surface Pro 6).

"Having adopted Microsoft Office 365 as our productivity, communications, collaboration, and file storage needs in the last few years, it makes sense to adopt the machines that work best with these tools," Sears added. "The Surface Pro is a Microsoft tablet that aligns with Office 365 and provides needed flexibility and versatility, as well as excellent functionality, for all students and teachers."

During the 2019-20 school year, students in Grades 3 through Form I will continue to have computers supplied for them during the school day as needed, and students in Forms II through VI may take part in the voluntary BYOD program. All teachers will receive Surface Pros in 2019-20 and will begin using them in a pilot program with Form I and II students.

Beginning in 2020-21, the following will take place in each division:

  • Lower School. Landon will own and provide each Lower School student with a computer. These devices will stay at school. At first, the computers will be Lenovo tablets that will be replaced with Surface Pros in coming years.
  • Middle School. Landon will own and provide a Surface Pro to each Form I and Form II student, while Grade 6 students will each have a Chromebook. Students will take them home as needed, but all devices will be turned in at the end of the school year. In 2021-22, all three grades will be issued Surface Pros for use at school and home.
  • Upper School. Landon will require Form III students to purchase a Surface Pro through the school that will be family-owned. Students in Form IV-VI are grandfathered into the voluntary BYOD program.

During the 2019-20 school year, the school will provide extensive professional development for teachers and develop policies that include those related to financial need. The goal is to ensure the program is a success for families and faculty going forward.

"This coming year will be a growing and learning year for teachers and students," Sears said. "It will allow faculty to further refine a balanced curriculum that incorporates educational technology in a thoughtful manner to teach and reinforce skills, habits, and manners of thinking and learning to enhance students' overall development."