Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Older Students Working with Chromebooks, Meghan Gabler Slattery, Librarian, Sabin Elementary

How is it already April? Or should I say it’s finally April! What a crazy few months it has been with snow days and testing and finally making it to Spring Break! I feel that my curriculum and plans have really gone out the window and come back in again with all of the shifts. Thankfully my students are resilient and have weathered the storm. I’m hearing less of “how do I take a screenshot” and more of, “can you add some pictures into your Drive on the Chromebook so I can access them on the iPad?” The teamwork and collaboration is everything I had hoped for and more.

I feel this whole year has been focused on my older students. However, the high school project that they undertook has really taken it’s roots and the final pieces are all starting to come together. I will give patience to the delay because of testing and snow days. When one group finished I was able to use it as an example for all of my other classes. A few strong iMovie’s, a few strong Prezi’s and even a few strong Google Slide’s have aided in my demonstration of what great work looks like. It’s motivating those students that are almost done to make the quality of their work as such that I would also use it as an example. Nothing like some good peer demonstrating to get the focus back to where it should be.

As for my intermediate students the push is on to dive into Google Drive and their email accounts. My single class of fourth graders, because I only see one, not all three, is ready to grab those Chromebooks by the horns and get creative. I discussed using their email addresses in the beginning of the year so we could work in Google Drive and I was faced with a lot of confusion and even fear. I am so happy to see that with the help of my older students and their amazing creations via Prezi and Google Slide’s, Forms and even Sheets, that there is so much that can be accomplished. I look forward to seeing what they can and will create in our last quarter.

Lastly, my primary students. In many ways they still love the iPad’s and the ease of the swipe. However, the more they are exposed to the Chromebooks the more I see them requesting to use them. This week was their favorite week of the quarter, P.A.T. time. P.A.T. stands for preferred activity time. It’s my way of rewarding them for their good behavior which can be good listening, following the rules and overall participation while in Library Media. They bank it all quarter to have it all added up and used in one final day of the quarter. Many classes made it to twenty plus minutes. The difference in this quarter is in the amount of primary students that requested the ability to have their P.A.T. time on a Chromebook! It was so nice to watch them sitting near their friends, showing one another where and how to navigate, and at the same time lowering their noise level because they could sit as close to each other as they wanted. From a teacher’s point of view it was just amazing to see my Kindergartners navigate my library website on the Chromebooks and find website’s that they wanted to visit. I love when you can see learning in motion!

I truly cannot wait to see what other amazing projects and artifacts my students from all grade levels will continue to create with the Chromebooks and iPad’s!

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