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Redmond kids log on with Google Chromebooks


Inside Tom McCall Elementary in Redmond, using Google Chromebooks is quickly becoming the best part of the day for many students.

“It helps you with typing, and you learn while doing it — and after you’re done you can play math games, so it helps you learn even more,” said one student.

A fourth-grade class is taking notes and filling out charts about the Oregon Trail, but you won’t find any pens or paper.

“It’s been great to have the Chromebooks in our classroom. It keeps the kids engaged,” said fourth-grade teacher Jason Gruetzmacher.

That students have technology at their fingertips.

“It’s just faster this way,” said one student.

And it’s all thanks the Redmond Parent Teacher Connection.

“We had a Fun Run in the fall, in October, and that is our only fundraiser of the year. It was a very successful event this year,” said principal of the PTC, Margaret Iverson. “The kids managed to bring in almost $13,000. Shortly after that, our principal approached us about the idea of the Chromebooks — and to us, it was a no-brainer.”

As educational standards and requirements shift, students are learning the tools needed to succeed in a logged-on society.

“Everything is shifting towards the digital age, and we need to keep our students up to date,” Gruetzmacher said.

Because some don’t have a computer at home, the Chromebooks provide much-needed access.

“That’s the expectation — that these kids have the 21st-century skills, so we knew we wouldn’t be way behind. We needed to get moving as well,” said Tom McCall Principal Drew Frank.

As rewarding as it is for the teachers, it’s just as much fun for the kids.

“I like using these, because you don’t have to write as much — all you have to do is type,” another student said.

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