Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Getting Started with Chromebooks, Margaret Rux, Librarian, Pasteur Elementary School

Recently, Louis Pasteur Elementary School Library received 19 Chromebooks from a REVITAL (RE-enVision to Integrate Technology and Libraries) Grant through the Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries. Receiving these iPads has made it possible to plan long-term lessons utilizing technology.

Along the way, I have learned some lessons on integrating this technology in the library. First, it is important to have the students understand that the acceptable use policy that they signed at the beginning of the year applies to the use ALL technology including the Chromebooks. Second, I found it easier to keep track of the Chromebooks by labeling them with a number. To keep track of who is using what; one of the students’ jobs at each table is that of task manager, and among their responsibilities is to manage the devises at their table (iPads and Chromebrooks). The task manager completes the sign-out sheet and turns it in. That way if there is a problem, I know who the last student was using that devise. Finally, it was important to take the time to demonstrate the proper use and care of Chromebooks (they are quite fragile).
There are several websites that I want all my students to be familiar with. I include the address for these on a task card and place that card in the toolbox. A toolbox is a plastic container that contains task cards (assignments, graphic organizers, websites, etc.) I find this a great way for students to be self sufficient! One of the things I like about the Chromebooks is that there is no desktop for students to “play” with. I like that students have to put in the address for every sight they want to go to. In addition, I have my students log in as guest to avoid having sign-in icons on the desktop. Students are required to go to Google and log in. So far this seems to be working out well.
Now that the students are comfortable using the Chromebooks I am having the fifth grade students begin working on a project using Google Docs. Since I am now teaching health class in addition to my other responsibilities, I decided to blend research with health. Students will create a publication on healthy living. Items students could include in the publication are articles, charts, graphs, checklist, editorials, interviews and comics. We are just at the beginning stages of this project so I will keep you posted as to success and challenges.

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