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?
Happy New Year Everyone!!! Welcome to the new home for my blog 🤓. If you haven’t had a chance to read my previous posts, check them out 😀 I am still trying out different platforms, so now it’s on to WordPress!
As we are embarking on 2018, I have been thinking about some of the projects I have worked on with teachers and their students. Since this is a brand new job for me, I have been working hard to be sure that I am providing the support that teachers need, while also trying to encourage teachers to try new/different ways to incorporate technology into their lessons. There are many teachers that I have shared new ideas with, but then there are the risk-takers who have allowed themselves to be my ‘guinea pig’ when their lessons/content/tasks match a new tech idea that I have.
One of the first ideas was using Google Tour Builder to create a Lit Trip. I had first heard of these last year, but it wasn’t until I was talking with a 7th grade English teacher who was looking for an alternative way for her students to do a presentation about the book they were going to be reading, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, that I travelled down this road. Since the story takes place in a number of different locations in the world, I thought it would be a great time to try out a Lit Trip. I got the idea from Eric Curts who had a post Create Your Own Lit Trips (and more) for Google Earth that I had seen on Twitter. This post is fabulous, step by step screen shots that walk you through exactly what you need to do to create a Tour. If you are looking to make one, I highly suggest checking out his post (and the rest of his website!). Then I saw his post about Launching Tour Builder Tours in Google Earth with One Click…Oh Joy!
The first day I worked with the students, I introduced what Google Tour Builder was by showing them a sample one I made about myself and allowed them some time to create one about themselves about either places they have been or would like to go to. I wanted them (and the teacher) to be comfortable using it since I would not be with them the next time they were in the computer lab and starting the Lit Trip.
I also had them install a Chrome Extension called Vidyard GoVideo, so they could make a screencast of their Lit Trip and add in audio. The videos were then downloaded and added to an unlisted YouTube playlist so they would be able to see the projects made by all of the students in each of her five classes. I made a quick help video showing how to make their screencast using Vidyard to show the students when they were ready.
Overall, the teacher and students were quite pleased with this project (and so was I)!
After speaking with a librarian about Google Tour Builder, she asked me to come in and work with 5th-grade students who were researching Latin America countries…she had a teacher who wanted to try something DIFFERENT with her students when it was time for them to present their findings. It’s all about Baby Steps…