Learn anywhere and anytime with Google and Acer Chromebooks: a success story from Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s educational scene is rapidly changing for the better. An important contributor to the positive change is Second English Language High School “Thomas Jefferson” – a leading by example school, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The exceptional achievements of our school triggered a large-scale digitization project for Sofia schools. Second English Language High School “Thomas Jefferson” is already an Acer Innovative School and a Google reference school. Looking ahead into the near future, the school is motivated to establish more 1:1 classes with personal devices for every student and every teacher by the end of the year. However, let us ask – how did their digital transformation start?

 

Acer Chromebooks and G Suite for Education for a project-based learning 

1:1 on Chromebooks did not just change the media by replacing textbooks with the latest generation of Chromebooks. Second English Language High School “Thomas Jefferson” in Sofia is transforming the learning process with a student-centered approach and deep understanding of project-based learning, supported by strong learning activity designed by its teachers. The school environment had to change as well. Students are free to team up and cooperate through their own learning. Technology, free communication and respect of individuality are the norm for both students and teachers.

The change began with one class in 8th grade (age 14) in which each student and each teacher received training with their personal Chromebooks. In most subjects, students do not use textbooks, but learn through group projects guided by their teachers. The goal is that by 2021 all students from 8th to 10th grade (400 students) have their own Chromebook, and all teachers are Google Certified Educators with deep understanding in project-based learning. The first classes on 1:1 kicked off using the affordable Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (R721T). Later, teachers were equipped with the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R852TN) with a WACOM stylus and Acer Chromebook 13 (CB713-1WN), featuring powerful Intel Core i3 processors.

The high school has already implemented a cloud platform Google G Suite for Education, in which every student and teacher has an electronic profile in the domain of the organization. The implementation of a cloud platform is supported by Center for Creative Training, the School Board and the parents of 8th grade students.

Acer Chromebooks and G Suite for Education for a project-based learning

1:1 on Chromebooks did not just change the media by replacing textbooks with the latest generation of Chromebooks. Second English Language High School “Thomas Jefferson” in Sofia is transforming the learning process with a student-centered approach and deep understanding of project-based learning, supported by strong learning activity designed by its teachers. The school environment had to change as well. Students are free to team up and cooperate through their own learning. Technology, free communication and respect of individuality are the norm for both students and teachers.

The change began with one class in 8th grade (age 14) in which each student and each teacher received training with their personal Chromebooks. In most subjects, students do not use textbooks, but learn through group projects guided by their teachers. The goal is that by 2021 all students from 8th to 10th grade (400 students) have their own

Chromebook, and all teachers are Google Certified Educators with deep understanding in project-based learning. The first classes on 1:1 kicked off using the affordable Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (R721T). Later, teachers were equipped with the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R852TN) with a WACOM stylus and ACER Spin 13s, featuring powerful Intel Core i3 processors.

The high school has already implemented a cloud platform Google G Suite for Education, in which every student and teacher has an electronic profile in the domain of the organization. The implementation of a cloud platform is supported by Center for Creative Training, the School Board and the parents of 8th grade students.

What makes Acer Chromebooks the perfect companion for the new 1:1 project

School life can be tough: when choosing what device to use for such a large-scale

project, not just any computer will do. Here is what makes Acer Chromebooks the ideal

option:

A battery that lasts throughout the school day

Depending on how long your local school day is, a device meant to be used as a learning support needs to have a sufficient battery life to last several hours at varying levels of almost non-stop activity, and Acer Chromebooks have been proven to meet this requirement.

● A durable device for even the toughest day

The military grade durability and impact-resistant body of Acer Chromebooks are designed to survive being shoved in and out of schoolbags by even the clumsiest user.

● One device, infinite activities

Not all subjects involve the same kind of activity, so a school device needs a degree of flexibility. With several modes to choose from, Acer Chromebooks can adapt to any activity in seconds.

● Make your learning more efficient

With shared calendars, sharing files and opening a constant three-way channel of communication that involves teachers, students and families, learning is smoother than ever.

How can schools trigger regional transformation and investments in education?

The foundations were laid in 2019. Firstly, all teachers and students got their personal G Suite accounts. Furthermore, all of the learning resources and documentation were transferred to the cloud, so that teachers and administration have centralized access to them and save up time. Secondly, the 1:1 (one-to-one) model was established. All teachers and students have access to learning resources everywhere and anytime.

In 2 ELS there are 1138 personal Google G Suite accounts; over 180 Acer Chromebooks for a total of 5 classes of 8th and 9th grade students; a personal Acer Chromebook for each teacher in the One-to-One (1:1) classes; and 21 certified teachers in the Google Certified Educator programs.

 

The Ministry of Education requested a special case study on the 1:1 model in Bulgaria

One year of educational transformation focused on the 1:1 model was a research object, when the Ministry of Education and Science commissioned a case study on the model.

The case study scope:

  • 7 schools
  • Over 800 students, teachers and parents in 1:1 and traditional class setup
  • 6000+ personal G Suite accounts.

Key findings:

  • Parents began to support the 1:1 model just three months after the start.
  • Project based learning is the new norm for 1:1 classes
  • Teachers become designers of the educational process and use digital technology
  • Students and teachers have greater respect for each other and are more confident to find, process and express information from various sources.

Sofia City started an ambitious program to support 1:1 and educational transformation

Following the deployment of G Suite for Education and the training of teachers, the 1:1 model was established. Thanks to the support and financing of Sofia municipality, teachers from 16 schools are preparing for the launch of 1:1 model in their schools. The change began with a class in which each student and each teacher works with their personal Acer Chromebook, a laptop designed specifically for cloud schools. In most subjects, students do not use textbooks, but learn through group projects guided by their teachers.

Teachers as drivers of innovation in 2 ELS 

In order for digital transformation to happen, a crucial step is to have qualified teachers on board. It all started with 8 teachers being intensively trained for Google Certified Educator level 1 and level 2. Just a year later the school has its first Google Certified Trainer – Ms. Adi Konedareva. She is determined to help fellow teachers and the Google Trainers community work more efficiently with cloud-based tools, create engaging content and develop their leadership skills by conducting at least 12 training sessions per year.

Covid situation

The global coronavirus outbreak influenced Bulgarian learning environment as well. All of the educational institutes were closed for three months in 2020. Since last week, schools are locked once again until further notice.

The early on implementation of the cloud platform G Suite for Education and the introduction of the 1:1 model resulted in a smooth distance learning transition. Luckily, the teachers, students and administration of 2 ELS “Thomas Jefferson” are already prepared to work in a cloud-based environment. Cloud, learning environment, WiFi, Chromebook devices and regulations are the tools that ensure the success of distance learning in 2 ELS “Thomas Jefferson”.

2 ELS is announced as a Google reference school

2 ELS “Thomas Jefferson” is the first Google reference school in Sofia and only the second Google reference school in Central and Eastern Europe. The other one is also in Bulgaria – Ivan Vazov Language High School in Plovdiv.

Succeeding the focused and motivated efforts, an online event took place to announce the big news on the 29.10.2020. The important event was featuring Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia, Gencho Kerezov, Deputy Mayor for Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development of Sofia Municipality, Mark Sans Lopez, Director of Education at Google for Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Stefan Stoyanov, Deputy Mayor for Education and Business Development in the Municipality of Plovdiv, Dr. Vanya Kastreva, Head of the Regional management of Education Sofia, Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Prof. Dr. Galin Tsokov from Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski and a team of Center for Creative Training.

The accomplishments of 2 ELS “Thomas Jefferson” would not have been possible without the support of Sofia Municipality and the Regional management of education – Sofia, which facilitated the digital transformation of the educational environment in the capital. Currently, 40 schools are already doing the 1:1 model or are in preparation to begin doing so, starting from the second term of the school year.

Related articles

Elevating digital learning with Acer Chromebook & Google for Education: a success story from Denmark

Teachers from the Randers Municipality, Denmark, alongside their young students, experience a digital learning upgrade thanks to Acer Chromebook & Google for Education.

Acer TravelMate & Office 365 Education address the needs of every student at the Bartolomeo Sestini Institute

Get familiar with the Italian institute Bartolomeo Sestini and discover how Acer TravelMate & Office 365 Education made access to digital technology possible for all students, in the classroom and remotely.

Enhancing Hybrid Learning with Acer Chromebook & Google Workspace for Education: a success story from Dubai

Let’s meet the students and teachers from the Star International School of Mirdif and discover how Acer Chromebook and Google Workspace for Education changed the way they learn, study and teach.

Most read