…google chromebook trial: day 1…

Well, day 1 is in the books with our IT department’s Google Chromebook.  My overarching thought from today is best said like this:  

I didn’t open my MacBook Pro.

Today’s tasks were cut a bit short because I taught 3 out of 4 blocks.  Yet, in my day, I enjoyed my time on this machine.  [Yes, I’m posting from the CB.]

Here is a photo of the start of my day:

7:45 am

7:45 am prepping SohCahToa Worksheets for my Math 8/9 Core class.

IT had this running on our Guest network.  I logged in as a new user and entered my Google account.  5 seconds later I was up and running…the machine making a local copy of everything I had in my Google cloud.  I then copied and pasted my new Staff  WiFi code…4 seconds later I was up and running on our quickest network.  So far, so good.

Here are a few of my observations from today:

  • Mouse:  I don’t often use a mouse with my MBP…really only when I’m in report card mode and needing to scroll and click repeating places.  But, I just plugged my mouse into the CB and it jumped to life.  Great.
  • Keyboard:  <i hate the keyboard on this new machine.   my post.  <but, it is reality when moving to a new device – there is a learning curve.  <in this case, the learning curve is muscle memory.
  • Battery:  This am I decided to unplug the cord to see what kind of battery life I could get today.  I used the machine for 30 minutes before school, 25 minutes on and off during block 1, 45 minutes during block 2, all of lunch, most of block 3, nothing during block 4, and gave it another 70 minutes after school.  So, by the time I was ready to leave for home today I had milked the life down to 3%.  So, I survived the day.  But, under a normal day I will certainly keep it plugged in at my desk whenever possible.
  • Files:  I purposely did not move any files to this machine.  Mostly I just wanted to see what I could do today…and to see which files I actually needed.  I’m working on a field trip template that I created two years ago in Apple’s Pages.  So, this is one project that I must continue on my MBP. I did not need anything else today that I could not find in my email as attachments.
  • Printing:  This will be an issue.  Our IT has said that I will not be able to print this week.  Okay, fine.  Our students do not have any access to print at school, so this is no different from their experience.  But, for this machine to be a professional machine for me it must print.  I will have to flash drive or email or GDrive it to another machine to print.  But, I wonder if this will help me cut down paper this week…hmm…
  • Work-A-Round:  A student asked me to print a file from a flash drive during 2nd block.  I said I would need to grab my other computer.  He said okay and went away.  He came back later…and I asked him to see if he could find another staff member to print for them.  Again, he said okay and went away.  [Hmm…is this neglect or delegation???  Either way, we found a work around to this machine not printing.]

Work Flow:

  • Email:  Today I opened my school exchange email via the web.  That worked fine.  I didn’t have my regular email addresses as they are saved in my MBP via iCloud.  I actually had to go by memory and type them out fully.  Wow, surprisingly this was a pain.  I was bothered by having to do this…
  • Students Achieve (Daily Report Card):  Our school uses a web program for attendance and marking.  Students and parents have log-ins so they see work as it happens.  They also receive daily emails with any new marks or any new work that has been assigned.  It is web hosted, so this was no problem.
  • Moodle (Digital Binder):  We put all our files online for our students to access.  Again, this is web hosted, so this was no problem.  The feel and view was identical…I just had to actually remember my password…
  • Vimeo (Video Store House):  A few of our teachers are using our Digital Presenters to record our lessons on SD cards.  We then use Any Video Converter to cut the file size down to about 15% of the original.  We then upload this into Vimeo, and then paste that code into our Moodle pages.  Well, I had to go to the Chrome Web Store to find a video converter.  (I use .flv because it does a great job of cutting file size.)  I found one, installed it (it just took my to a website that converts in the cloud), and converted my file.  Great….or so I thought.  Chrome does not play .flv files.  So I converted my second one as a .mp4.  This played no problem.  Unfortunately, the program was not able to give me all the settings that Any Video Converter does…so this .mp4 file was only about 50% of the original size.  Okay, I can deal with that…for now.  I uploaded both files to Vimeo and they both upload.  Interestingly, the .flv file was terrible – it was choppy and was very glitchy.  The .mp4 was excellent.  So, I’ll be using the .mp4 the rest of the way on this machine when dealing with new videos.  I cut and pasted the embed code into Moodle with no problems.

So, this concludes my first day.  All in all I am very happy with the CB so far. Everything I needed to do today I was able to do in the cloud.  Yes, I still have to finish my .pages form.  But, this is because I have chosen to produce this in Pages.  Going forward, this could be easily created as a GDoc.

Today, I’m giving my overall experience a 8/10.  It has lost points because of my own issues with the keyboard.

Do you have any specific questions you’d like me to answer or test for you?  If so, please add a comment and I’ll do my best to give it a try.  If not, thanks for listening and critiquing my Chromebook Trial.

PS – here is a nice Chromebook review – quick read.


4 thoughts on “…google chromebook trial: day 1…

    1. eduglean Post author

      No, thankfully! Great Question!

      Videos in Vimeo are all good. But, if we are converting on the Chromebooks, my quick try yesterday points to using .mp4 rather than .flv. But, this is just for conversion via Chromebook for new videos.

    1. eduglean Post author

      Hi Steve, thanks for the read and question.

      My quick guess without looking up anything on Google would be to go to the Chrome store and see what they offer as software.

      But, I will try importing video on an SD card or pulling some raw video from Dropbox and seeing if I can edit that.

      Also I will try creating raw video on the Chromebook through the WebCam and see if I can edit that.

      I’ll let you know! Paul


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