Monday, January 12, 2015

Chromebook 101 - Transfer Some Control

If you have read my other Chromebook 101 posts, then you have read how I feel it is important to set up a discipline and expectation structure as well as become proficient in 1 thing (I suggest Google Docs).  My suggestions on creating expectations and knowing google docs are simply to make sure that there is a level of comfort with implementing chromebooks in the classroom.  Often, teachers are more apprehensive about starting to use them and once they begin to see how easy chromebooks are and how seamlessly they can be integrated into current curriculum, they tend to continue to use them and learn new things.

This post is equally important for those with fears of using technology with students as well as those who welcome the use of technology in the classroom.  For those who are familiar with the SAMR and TPACK models of technology integration, you know that there are varied levels of integration and varied ideas of best practice integration.  Click on the link to get to know the levels of SAMR.  The lowest levels of technology implementation use technology to enhance learning (substitution and augmentation) whereas the higher levels transform the classroom (modification and redefinition).

It is important to know that computers are hard to break with a misplaced button click.  That being said, let students press buttons, click new things, search and learn.  Give up the choke-hold on the computer.  As long as your expectations are laid out, you can always reel students in with by letting them know when they are not doing what they are supposed to do.  Here are some simple suggestions to get you used to a classroom that lends itself to transformation.

  • Be a Guide.  Just because you know the answer does not mean you have to tell them.  Help students learn to find the answer.  This strategy works great for when you do not know the answer.
  • Are you going to have students type your notes?  Try changing them to collaborative notes (where students work on notes as a group) or enhancement notes (where you give students your notes and while you are talking they reword or add to their own copy to make them more useful and personal).
  • Give options.  Just because you would do something one way does not mean that they would.  Challenge students to be unique with how they word and display information.
  • You do not have to know it all.  If you give students a project, let students know that you can help them in Google Docs, but they are welcome to use Slides, prezi, powtoons, wevideo, etc.  
  • Show students how to find information.  I suggest Google search for technical support.  If you ever need to show them, I suggest "Let me Google That for You" (Google it).

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