FCPSOn Provides Students With Learning Devices


Photo courtesy of Fairfax County Public Schools.

Connie Ryu, Staff Writer

In most classrooms today, both at Jefferson and in the United States, technology holds a major presence. Students can use Google Drive to work on group projects collaboratively without going through the trouble of scheduling meeting places and rides, and teachers can post last-minute announcements by a mere click. While providing and receiving an education in the 21st century, one cannot leave out the heavy implementation of technology. Acknowledging the evolution of education, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has launched a new program, called FCPSOn, which grants students throughout the county access to an electronic device and their rightful education.

FCPSOn is a program where students are provided with a technological device in order to shift to a “1-1 digital transformation” that can widen the spectrum of variety for lessons taught.

The program provides a classroom device for students from kindergarten to second grade and provides a personal device for students above third grade. The first phase of the program was launched during the 2016-2017 school year to the Chantilly High School Pyramid and now includes 15 schools across the county. FCPSOn Phase 1 is funded by FCPS and a grant from VDOE e-Learning Backpack. Through this program, the county strives to provide a more personalized education, in which students are presented with various opportunities to further their knowledge and understanding.

According to a evaluation conducted by FCPS and Johns Hopkins University on phase one, “during the first year of FCPSOn implementation, findings indicate clear progress in teachers beginning to integrate technology to support a blended learning approach which has, in turn, helped to improve student engagement, and Portrait of a Graduate skills.”

The devices supplied also allow students to exercise digital citizenship to prepare them to be accountable individuals on the Internet as adults. FCPSOn trains FCPS students to become familiar and realize the consequences and impacts technology use can have on both students and those around them. When given, the devices are filtered before they are provided and have restricted websites. It is mandatory for students and parents to read a device loan agreement and severe consequences are implemented for inappropriate use of the given device.

The program also provides a degree of freedom for FCPS teacher to utilize various interactive resources on the Internet as well. On the FCPSOn official website, one of the rationales stated for the program is, “FCPSOn will support teachers as they create learner-centered environments that help students learn concepts in meaningful experiences. The technology not only facilitates learning, it also frees time to focus attention in places that makes teaching and learning more rewarding.” The website continues to state, “As schools adopt FCPSOn, students will be able to work on school assignments anywhere, anytime. The FCPSOn implementation approach includes strategies to provide equal access to devices and the internet for all students.”