Monday, May 4, 2015

Smyser Students DRIVE their Chromebooks, Emily Porter, Librarian, Smyser Elementary

Using Chromebooks in our library has allowed us to practice saving ongoing projects in the Google DRIVE. Each class in grades 4, 5, and 8 have a folder and documents saved in the DRIVE dedicated to artifacts created in library or media class.  The flexibility to store photos, documents, and audio clips is beneficial to long term projects. At my school, I am asked to teach in the classrooms during MAP and PARCC testing so that the upper grade classes can rotate through the library’s computer lab in order to take the exams. The Chromebooks and DRIVE make the transition into the classroom seamless because we can continue our library lessons without bringing all of our class materials with us. This shift in my lesson planning wasn’t too difficult. I took materials that I had already created as a Google Doc and shared them with my students through the DRIVE. I found digital activities through PBS Learning Media that could enrich units relating to classroom activities. The Chromebooks allow the classes to connect wirelessly to any internet resource.  The greatest advantage to using the DRIVE has been teaching the students to organize their class work in a folder called LIBRARY. A long term goal I have as a teacher is to measure student skill retention using a portfolio model from one academic year to the next. The DRIVE is a terrific place to store student work and help the students learn to self evaluate, review work from previous years, and create new learning activities as apps and GAFE develops. Being able to scaffold student learning from one year to the next is an exciting way to watch the students I teach develop as learners. The Chromebooks make this effortless. In four years, I will be able to measure the impact my teaching has on library learners long term. It will be exciting to look back at all of the library activities we conducted over the years and analyze which ones work and which ones need to be changed - all done with input from students as we examine authentic artifacts that represent six years of being MY teaching on these students.

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