Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Chromebook, a Case, and a Plan in Schools

You've got your Dell, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, or whatever Chromebook. You've got your iPearl or Cranium hard or soft case or cover. Now what? Now, you need a plan.

Not every school has the same needs for the Chromebook. Some will be happy to use it in a few classes some of the time. Others will want every class to use the devices every day. On top of that, your teachers will be at all different level of competence, even if you force them to take classes. The best advice for the plan is to allow it to be shaped by the teachers and for it to take some time. For each year of the Chromebook implementation, have the teachers fill out a simple goal sheet. Something like this:

A. I will attempt to use the Chromebooks in class ___ time(s) per week.
B. I will attempt to create ___ assignment(s) per week for Chromebook use.
C. I will attempt to give students feedback on their online documents ___ time(s) per month.
D. The assignments I create and use will be linked from my website.

Something like that. Start with 1 in each blank. Really.
When I used Chromebooks and planned all summer before the class and then all year while teaching the class, my numbers would have been
And I was very good at it. Your TEACHERS should give THEMSELVES simple goals to meet.

By year two, those 1s can maybe be increased, but the point is that a natural increase will occur in A and D even if the teachers stay at one new lesson per week.

By year five, you'd have:
B=1 (or less)
C=2 (perhaps)
D=Every assignment

That's the easy way to have a full curriculum created for Chromebooks by the time the next devices and cases or covers need to be purchased.

OK, I know some teachers teach five different classes. Sharing is caring, however, so if you have three teachers teaching English 9, only one has to develop a shared assignment for year one. Or just let the teachers focus on one class in year one, two in year two, and so on. Another option is to add the Cranium's whiteboard into the mix, counting its use as using the Chromebook.

The main point is that you can overwhelm teachers with demands of Chromebook use. Teachers are smart enough to figure out that students want to use the devices. Teachers are responsible enough to make efforts to implement the use of Chromebooks. Let the teachers decide how they will do it.

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