Say it Ain’t So!

Have you seen this report from GoGuardian that shows how Chromebooks are being used in classrooms?  I stumbled upon it when I saw this post on Twitter by Andy Losik and this one by Alice Keeler. Not only did the articles hit upon a lot of important key ideas in regards to using Chromebooks in the classroom, but so did the comments.

Previously, I wrote a post about Creating Creators, Rather than Just Consumers, and both of these articles touch on that as well.  Many of the websites that are listed in the GoGuaridan study are places to access information or practice skills, both of which are important for learning. However, when looking at the list, what is missing, are the websites that students should be going to after they have gained their knowledge to create something that helps show what they have learned. Alice Keeler provides some very useful tools that can be used on Chromebooks. The one that is missing, is my new favorite-Book Creator. I feel it can cross over all content areas (and grade levels) and has so many possible classroom uses.  I hope more people realize that it is now available via the web, which means we can use it on Chromebooks.

I have been paying close attention to all things Chromebooks since my district is in the process of deploying Chromebook carts to our middle and high schools.  As I spend time in the buildings, I am often asked by teachers when we will be going 1:1 with devices in the middle and high schools (currently, our 3rd and 4th-grade students are 1:1 with iPads).  My immediate response is: WHY? To which I often get odd looks.  I ask this because in most cases, I don’t really think people know what they are asking for and/or what it involves.   Why do they think their students should have a device with them all the time? What are they going to have the students use the devices for? How are they going to change the way they present the content to their students to effectively incorporate technology into their classroom? Sometimes, they tell me they want a paperless classroom, and inside my mind, I shake my head.  Paper isn’t always a bad thing…students should still have those tactile experiences.  Having a ‘paperless’ classroom sounds great, but if all you are doing is replacing the same old lessons with a computer, you aren’t doing your students any justice.

Before a 1:1 initiative should get rolled out, we need to be sure that we have provided our teachers with training so that they can best use the technology with their students.  The pushback I get from teachers (which I don’t disagree with) is that if we give them the training now, and they don’t have adequate, regular access to devices, then they will forget what they have learned.  So timing is everything. I am looking forward to this journey, and can’t wait to see where it takes us!

Anyone have any suggestions for using Chromebooks in the classroom? Or rolling out devices in a district?

 

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Aside

The Chromebooks are coming! The Chromebooks are coming!

Originally posted November 7, 2017
This is an exciting year for our district when it comes to technology in the secondary buildings. First, the teachers received new touchscreen laptops which replaced our old desktops. We also have wireless projection capabilities from our laptops to any projector that we encounter in the district. Now, the next phase is about to happen…Chromebook carts! Up until this point, our secondary buildings have had one or two computer labs and a few laptop carts for our teachers/students to be able to access to try to incorporate technology into their classrooms. The laptops often take a large chunk of time to boot up, wasting valuable instructional time. As of the next week or so, that is all changing. As a secondary technology coach, it has been difficult for me to find teachers ready to make the jump into using technology since it has been difficult for them to access.
Chromebook carts of 30 devices each, will be deployed, starting at the high schools. Our Chromebooks are touchscreen, which will prove to be very useful. My goal is to provide our teachers with information to help use these tools effectively. The first thing I will be sharing is this infographic with some tips, tricks and shortcuts for Chromebooks (and Chrome as well).
 
I am so looking forward to helping more teachers bring technology to their students!