…google chromebook: 7-day trial…

Hello blog.  Yes, it’s been a while.  And, with May being my busiest month of the school year (ending this year and planning for the next), I am forcing myself to reflect in a tangible way by typing and publishing my ongoing thoughts.

[This post in a Tweet]

Three years ago our campus school was the recipient of a pilot project to embark on a 1:1 program.  Our sister-school, Heritage Christian Online School provided us with 67 netbooks for our campus students in Grades 10-11-12.  Three years in, our machines have lasted longer than most of us thought they would.

Well, we have just received word that funding is present for new machines next year.  What a blessing!

The question is this – what machines will we go with for the next three years?

Quick options include:

  • Netbooks again…but they aren’t making these machines any more…and if we go this route the machines would be two years old out of the box…and it’s dead tech…and they will require large amounts of IT…and the 10′ screen is just so small…
  • Full-sized Laptops…but they will push the budget beyond what is available…and they will require large amounts of IT…and they will be too big for students to port regularly…and these entry-level machines may not withstand daily use for 3 years…
  • iPads…but these are grotesquely overpriced for what we need…and our school lives in a PC environment…and we need this to be a dedicated productivity machine…so, they will require an additional keyboard…again, more $$$…
  • Tablets…but, like iPads, they will need a dedicated keyboard…IT…just don’t want to go the tablet route…
  • Google Chromebooks…these require low IT…they are quick and are not bogged down in price or speed by OS and Office requirements…these have a dedicated keyboard…and we have identified that everything we are asking our students to do can be done in the cloud…

So, at this point we are seriously debating going with Chromebooks.  We are seeing if Google Drive and Google Chrome can do what we want/need it to do.  Big shout out to Dan, Steve, and our IT Department for the help here.  Also, thanks goes to Quinn and Megan for the chat and tweets.

My primary goal for Grade 10-11-12 students next year is to ‘up’ student organization.  This has come from reading David Allen‘s three books this past year.  He is the Father of the term – Getting Things Done, or #GTD.   I see two major areas where I want to help our students grow:

  1. With the agreements they have made with themselves – due dates – Calender 
  2. With the tasks they have agreed to complete – to-do listsList Manager

The largest piece of making this goal move from idea to reality is to have students commit to a personal system that works for them.  I believe this must exist in one of two forms:  Paper or Plastic.

  • Paper:  Students commit to having a paper agenda or calendar on them at all times…for quick reference…for ‘the place’ they go for all their commitments…it really has to be with them at all times…
  • Plastic:  Students commit to using the device most seem to have on them at all times – their cell phones…they must use it to store Calendar and To-Do List information…it could stay only on their phones…but it would be best if it then sync from their mobile device to their machine – cellphone and computer always syncing…they put something in their phone…it’s already waiting on their laptop…or on any computer they sit down at…and vice versa – machine to cell…

So, at this point I could go on and explain this more.  Perhaps this will be present in future posts.  But the main point is this – for students who use paper, great.  Use it.  For those who have phones, great.  Use them.

Regardless of kids’ phone makers, as long as they have data plans they can sync to their software – iCloud, Hotmail/Live/Outlook, GMail/GoogleDrive…these all sync in live-time.

Ok, back to Google Chromebooks.  So, as a school we are debating becoming a Google Apps school.  Kids would get Gmail/GoogleDrive accounts set up for them.  Chrome would be the environment we would ask (require) them to live in.  Chromebooks would be the device they would use to produce their material…and GMail/GoogleDrive would host their material and sync between Phone and Machine.

So, in short, I will be spending the next week or so using a Chromebook 100% (or as near as I can) to test this device.  I want to test how much of my job as teacher and principal can be done in the cloud.  Can I use this machine as my primary device?  I know there will be file issues – I mean – I have files on my current machine.  But, I can flashdrive these to the Chromebook…or I can drag and drop them all into Drive…

I will be blogging my journey – my hands-on trial of a Chromebook for everything I do each day…the good, the bad, the ugly of using a Chromebook…

For the record, this post was done on my MBP…

…stay tuned…

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3 thoughts on “…google chromebook: 7-day trial…

  1. goodbit

    Hey Paul, great post…

    I am really curious to hear how the chromebook experience goes… I have been watching these over the past few years… and am thinking that we are so close to being “there”. (In terms of being able to live in the cloud fully). For an education environment… I think these might be the sweetspot…

    Let me know how life (and blogging) goes on the CB!

    Reply
    1. eduglean Post author

      Hi Rich! Yes, day 1 is almost in the books. Fairly productive day. I’m working around a few things…but there have not been any large road blocks yet. I’ll post more tonight with my workflow of the day.

      It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to print this week…so this won’t be a fully functional machine for me. But hey, maybe this will mean less paper? Also, the kids don’t print directly from their netbooks now anyhow, so this is no different from them. I’ll have to be a printing moocher…

      Thanks again for the comment. Chat soon, Paul.

      Reply
    2. eduglean Post author

      Well, it’s been almost a week with the CB. I’ve been more than impressed. As a student machine I think it will be great. Heck, I’ve been able to do my full job 85% of the time on it. [ I needed two programs that live on my MBP – one for work and one for home. I will need to print…eventually… A bit of a hassle finding files from my other system…but that’s life moving to GDrive… ]
      The journey continues!

      Reply

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