We’ve been looking at purchasing some new technology for awhile now and had been looking at and debating whether to get class sets of iPads or macbooks. We were pretty sure we wanted to go with one of those two as we liked the educational ease of use and software provided, even though they were pricier. While I had heard of Chromebooks, I hadn’t really considered them until I attended a conference where one of the sessions talked about how they had purchased Chromebooks for their school and were loving them.
At a fraction of the price for even the cheapest iPads, Chromebooks would provide our students with all the productivity tools they would need in a full laptop. As it is mostly web based, if anything happens to the computer, just give the students a new computer and they are back and running. They are cheap, easy to use and, with the Google Drive tools, have almost all the applications they will need for document creation, etc. In fact, one of the best things about it is that we do not have to use Microsoft Office which I find to cumbersome and overloaded for elementary students.
In preparation for the Chromebooks coming, I have been looking around for resources to prepare myself and the other teachers, who will be using them for bringing them into the classroom. I have found some great ones that I will share here for those looking to start using Chromebooks in their classrooms. I would also appreciate any other Chromebook resources others may have!
This site can get into the really technical, but still a great resource; especially for those who are in charge of implementing Google in their department.
More specific information from Google and getting ready for and setting up Google in your school including timeline, setting up accounts and informing parents.
A school set up a “academy” to guide students through the various aspects of using Chromebooks and the Google Apps. Definitely good for parents as well. It is set up for third and fourth graders, who will complete a set number of lessons designed to develop 21st Century Skills. Upon completion of the Academy, students will:
- possess basic technology skills
- be aware of how to use the Internet in a safe manner
- have the ability to utilize online etiquette while collaborating and communicating online
Just as the title states, this is a quick visual overview of the Chromebook. This might be a nice way to introduce your chromebooks to the class.
A series of youtube videos explaining the uses of Chromebooks in education. Includes short videos on logging in, starting a new document, etc.
Great comprehensive site with links to lots of resources, overviews of pilots and tutorials for using Chromebooks in education.
A pdf detailing rules and policies related to student’s use and care of Chromebooks. Not very exciting reading but most definitely some good insights to some of the things to think about before simply handing over Chromebooks to the students.
One of the first resources I found, this site has a nice day to day schedule for rolling out Chromebooks with your students. While you may not do everything in here, it lays out a nice foundation and order to introducing students to using the Chromebooks in small, easily digestible chunks that will help preserve your sanity.
Increasing Productivity and Organization for the Teacher using Chromebooks and Google Docs:
My worry, in using Google Drive and Chromebooks with my students, is that it will be hard to keep track of student’s work when it isn’t in physical form on my desk or in the bins where I can see it. In my research, I found a couple of sites that add additional layers to your google drive account to help you organize, be more productive with your student’s use of Google Drive and help you with this issue.
Google Forms isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of assessment. It’s not especially elegant, it won’t wow students, and the learning curve isn’t as mild as it might be. But with a little bit of work on the front-end, Google Forms can return the favor in spades on the back-end in the form of self-grading assessments. While there isn’t an app (yet) that can uncover the true nuance of understanding, if you’re using multiple-choice assessments–even just as pre and summative assessments–this trick can save you time, allowing the real potential of assessment to shine through in consistently extracting data to revise planned instruction. Mike Reading from Google Apps For Edu gives the following itemized rundown on how to use Google Forms to accomplish exactly that in the video.
This is one I just discovered today but it looks like it will be very useful. How can teachers harness all the awesomeness, ubiquitous access, and collaborative authoring power made possible by Google Docs without creating a document management nightmare? Written by an educator for educators, the free doctopus script gives teachers the ability to auto-generate, pre-share, and manage grading and feedback on templated Docs for group and individual projects.
The only paid one on the list, Hapara Hapara optimizes Google Apps for schools by structuring Google Apps around classes and students. With Hapara’s tools, Google Apps becomes both easier to use and more effective. Teachers get the visibility they need to improve student outcomes in the moment, students get the full benefits of a safe, collaborative, digital learning environment, and schools save money. The one product of theirs that I am most interested in, Remote Control, allows for remote, real-time classroom device management. You can see and manage what students have open in their browsers real-time, remotely, with the ability to open and close URLs directly onto student devices.
Do you have any resources for using Chromebooks and Google Apps effectively in the elementary? Please share!