Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Do Chromebooks Belong in the Classroom?

Elementary student at Trigg County Elementary School
Chromebooks are popping up in schools across Kentucky, mostly due to their price point. With their low cost and the Chrome OS that requires no maintenance (think updates!), it is no surprise that schools are looking at them and thinking about how they can be used in the classroom. I've had a Chromebook since last summer and found it to be fast, lightweight, and easy to use. I could do pretty much anything I wanted to do on it, despite the fact that it doesn't have a large hard drive for storage. I put it to the test, taking it to meetings and conferences where I used Google Drive to store and share my documents. I was impressed. But did they belong in the classroom? Would students be able to do everything they needed to do for class? The answer is yes!

Middle School student at Browning Springs Middle School.

KATE visited both Trigg County and Hopkins County Schools recently to see just how they were using their Chromebooks. In the middle and high school classes we visited, we saw a range of applications. Some students were collaborating on slide show presentations using Google Slides and others were using Google Classroom to retrieve a copy of an assignment, then doing research online to answer the questions in the document. Elementary students were using a program called Symbaloo as their startup page that housed links to websites that teachers would direct them to during class time. Usually the students would be working on their Chromebooks while the teacher worked with a group of students on their reading or math lessons. What really caught my attention, though, was how each student was truly engaged in what they were doing.

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