Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Logging In vs. Browsing as Guest, Connie Amon, Galileo Scholastic Academy

When I first started using the Chromebooks, I required (well, more like demanded!) that students browse as guest. Taking the advice of some of my REVITAL colleagues, who already had Chromebooks, and given the fact that the Chromebooks were going to be used by many students throughout the day, I decided that this was the right way to begin.

“Browse as Guest” is fairly small link embedded in the Chromebook login screen. The tendency of students is to log in when they see the login screen, but, with repeated directives, my students learned to browse (most of them). Now I’ve relaxed the directions, depending on the grade level and the project.

Beyond using the common GAFEs, and some of the add-ons, (which we were already doing on computers and laptops), I’ve been attempting to climb a few inches up the Chromebook learning curve. There are a few advantages of logging in, it seems. Students can save bookmarks. Students can add free apps. Students can use the camera.

Our fifth grade students are beginning a research project on exploration. Working with a partner, they are taking notes in a shared Google document. Each student is locating and reading sources independently and adding notes to the document. By logging in, students can bookmark pages and sites they are using for easy access. They also have access to their Drive and other GAFEs without going through their CPS mail accounts. By logging in, students were able to add Glogster and sign up for an educational account (Glogster is described as a “freemium” app). Their final project will be a glog. And the camera? The camera will be used to capture an interview with their explorer.

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