Monday, November 17, 2014

Galileo Students: Meet Chromebooks! By Connie Amon, Librarian, Galileo Academy

Google Apps have been an integral part of students' work in the library, and that has been facilitated with the addition of our new REVITAL Chromebooks. Although students quickly adapted to the new device, comparisons to laptops and computers, and questions like, "What IS a Chromebook?" led to discovery/writing assignment in Google Classroom.

But first, we needed organization. Because we also have 14 computers in the library, all students have been assigned a number and letter, for example: 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, etc. Every other week, As and Bs alternate between Chromebooks and computers. If student 1A uses Chromebook #1 one week, the next week he or she will use Computer #1. This system has helped students remember their number, regardless of the device they are using, and allowed for “fairness” in use.

Modeling a PARCC-like synthesis assignment, students watched a video watch?v=TVqe8ieqz10), read an article, and responded to a prompt asking them to select ONE advantage of a Chromebook and write a paragraph providing evidence from both sources. Since 5th-8th grade library classes at Galileo have also been participating in CPS' Google Classroom pilot this year, the assignment was distributed and completed using Google Classroom.

In Classroom, students “turn in” their assignments to the teacher (me!). I can comment, grade their work, and engage in discussion with students regarding their work. While students worked on this initial assignment individually to ensure that each student experienced accessing, creating, completing, and reading and responding to feedback, they are currently working on a shared presentation. The new Chromebooks have allowed students to work both individually and collaboratively while using their own device.

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