Greenville County Schools Earns Google Reference District Award

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Greenville County Schools is one of only a handful of school districts across the country to be named a Google for Education Reference District. Google for Education Reference Districts are districts that demonstrate excellence and thought leadership through the innovative use of technology, including G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) and Chromebooks, to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.

“Today’s educational environment requires us to think differently in order to meet the needs of our students,” said Associate Superintendent for Academics Jeff McCoy. “Preparing students to be innovative thinkers, creative problem solvers, and high-level collaborators is key to their future success in their chosen career. Personalized learning changes the way teachers teach and how students learn.”

In 2004, the board of trustees approved money to refresh technology at 15 schools. This refresh plan has been used since 2004 and now is a permanent line item in the Long Range Facilities Plan.

However, Greenville County Schools was faced with the challenge of having only one device for every three students and a widening disparity among teachers and students engaging with technology in the classroom. Only 14 schools at that time were able to provide 1-to-1 technology using federal funds earmarked for Title I schools.

In 2016, GCS began rolling out Chromebooks for every student in grades 3-12. One year prior to the rollout, teachers received professional development through the Personalized Learning Academy’s G Suite for Education. The district also received a grant to provide Wi-Fi on every school bus so students can focus on learning while traveling to and from school.

By 2020, every student in grades 3-12 will use a Chromebook as a learning tool, and every teacher will be trained in G suite for Education with instruction focused on creation, collaboration, and research.

By introducing the use of technology in every subject area, personalized learning gives students equal access to technology, provides more opportunities for student engagement, and supports the district’s Graduation Plus initiative focusing on college and career readiness for all students.