Since September our department has invested in 30 Chromebooks. At first we were not sure of the benefit of them but we had carried out some research and found out that it would be a great tool for what we are doing. We use Google Classroom, Google sites, Classcharts and Google docs as our main points of application’s. The Chromebook has revolutionised syncing all of these tools to make both the students and teaching interactions seamless. The flipped learning concept fits right in with these devices, along with the speed of use. By being ready as soon as you open the lid it makes transitions easy. There is now no need to book computer rooms or I-pads which seem to fail when using certain apps or getting students work from the application. The unlimited Google drive area frees up student spaces and does not require IT technicians to increase user space. As a teacher or a student we are now more in control.
They are fast and easy to use, small enough to be on the desk and still have space to work. I can now set work via Google classroom which links to my Google site which allows students to work at their own pace and have all the resources in one place. It is great as students can log on anywhere to their work and still be part of the group. I am now looking at purchasing a Chromecast (£30) which will replace the apple TV for mirroring work. There is also software available to control the set just in case you want to keep control of what your class is looking at.
I was sceptical about the usage of these but we are now at a point where we are considering buying more as the demand for the use of them is so high. As technology is changing and the way in which we learn is changing, the Chromebook along with a selection of applications / software gives the students and teachers an interactive platform to create the digital classroom. At a price of around £100 per unit the cost benefit against buying apple I-pads at 3 or 4 times the cost is a no brainer.
We still use traditional resources to teach from, however by having access to the internet, Google drive and our other applications students now have a choice in the way they can work. They take control of their own learning and engage more within the lessons as the technology is allowing them to work in a way they are used to. The chromebook also works off line so if there is a problem with the internet you can still work offline and sync the work once the Wi-Fi is back working again. All in all it is a great piece of equipment that will engage learners, make your lessons interactive and allow all students access to the learning by letting them take control.
Nick Berryman @berrymannick
Head of Smeaton House
Teacher of Business & Enterprise