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Kim Sorrell

Jones Magnet Middle School students create Chromebook bands to help students identify devices

Kimberly Sorrell’s Tech Ed 8 class at Jones Magnet Middle School is all about finding solutions to everyday problems with whatever materials they have available. 

Due to a Hampton City Schools regulation, students are not allowed to put any kind of stickers on their digital devices. Students in grades five through 12 are issued Chromebooks to use during the school year. Sorrell and her students went through the process of seeking a solution to allow students to identify their Division-issued Chromebooks. 

The class discussed various items they could make to use with their Chromebooks and through trial and error, settled on the Chromebook Band.  Each student is required to go through the entire process of creating a band and made their own. This band, that is made of duct tape and hair ties or headbands, allows students to individually identify their device.  Duct tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns so students can choose how they want to express themselves through their own band.  They can also write on the band without damaging the device.

Sorrell said she already had the duct tape in the classroom for other projects and she had hair ties on-hand that she gives to students during the year when they are using machinery in the classroom.

four students with ChromebooksSorrell said her class is all about being action-based and hands-on.  They cover all aspects of problem solving.  Her motto is “Use what you have to get what you need.”

Since the bands have become so popular, the students are now making them through an assembly line.  Some students are better at folding the tape, said Sorrell, while others would rather attach the elastic bands.  Each student is given the opportunity to use their creativity and find their niche.

Sorrell has been teaching technology at Jones for the past 19 years.  She also taught at Davis Middle School and another district before finding her home at Jones.  She is full of energy and you can tell she loves what she does.  Her students are very excited to be a part of the class.

“When students get to hold up their finished project and say look what I did,” said Sorrell, “you can’t beat that.”

Riley Brown, one of the students in the class, said, “when we first talked about the bands, I thought it wasn’t going to work.  But then, I saw it on my Chromebook and said it’s pretty cool.”  Brown said other kids saw the bands and they wanted them too.

Sorrell and her students are presently selling the bands to students at Jones and have sold about 60.  She said the funds they raise go toward the eighth grade dance.

Sorrell’s class includes a lot of different aspects of technology.  “We use duct tape a lot,” she said.  “We make aprons with duct tape and trash bags, we use the woodworking machinery, we have a 3D printer, and much more.”

Anyone interested in purchasing a Chromebook band (they are in the process of making a larger one for regular laptops) may contact Sorrell at ksorrell@hampton.k12.va.us.


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