As the school year began for Sunnydale Academy last fall, it became apparent there was a greater need than ever before to make technology available to students. Fueled in part by an increase in enrollment and the introduction of an online foreign language program, the school’s computer lab was being shared by several classes at once, creating a noisy environment not well suited for learning.

School administrators got to work researching solutions, and one of the ideas that quickly rose to the top was to purchase Chromebooks, a laptop-like computer by Google that stores applications and documents in the cloud rather than on the individual devices.

The school was able to raise enough funds for 32 Chromebooks. Four were placed in each dorm, and the remaining 24 are stored on a cart and shared among classrooms in the administration building.

The addition of these Chromebooks hasn’t just solved the problem of a crowded computer lab, but they’ve also allowed teachers to take advantage of opportunities to add more technology into their instruction. Students can now do research, work on assignments and take online quizzes without leaving the classroom. And since these classes no longer need to take time to transition between the classroom and the computer lab, there’s more time available for learning.

Yanita, a senior, shared that “having Chromebooks in our classroom makes it more accessible and easier for the teacher to help me.” Wesley, a sophomore, admitted he’d found it difficult not to be distracted by the other classes in the lab. “There is just less distraction now, and more focus,” he said.

Teachers are also benefiting. Chase Shireman, who teaches Geometry, shared that he enjoys providing the students real-time feedback while content is still fresh in their minds.

Sunnydale continues to work toward creating a culture that provides the best opportunities for learning and, most importantly, growing closer to Jesus. They look forward to their three mission trips and countless community outreach opportunities during second semester.