1st Steps in Creating a Chromebook Classroom


           What teacher wouldn’t love a class set of laptops? Engaging students with online content, differentiating instruction, and saving time by not having to make copies are just a few of the things that more technology in the classroom allows a teacher. I have the great privilege of being a part of a pilot program within my school district that has supplied various teachers within each school with a class set of Google Chromebooks. This is the first installment in a series of posts where I will share my experiences and provide updates on new strategies I am learning along with successes and failures that I will go through along the way.  My desire is to help other educators jumpstart their success with Chromebooks in their classrooms.

            I understand that not all teachers will have a class set of laptops or Chromebooks. However, any teacher with a handful of computers in their classrooms can use Google Classroom. For instance, in years past, I only had six or seven desk1st top computers that my students would use during a rotational learning model. All of the ideas I will share could be done using that model, just like I use them with a whole class set of Chromebooks.

The Chromebook Classroom course offered by The Connecting Link is a great way for teachers to become more than confident in their ability to employ Google Classroom within their class. I am utilizing everything covered in all of the milestones in this course, and I am only a month into my school year. To be transparent, the most daunting part of creating a Chromebook Classroom is the learning to be done by the teacher on the front end. Students today are growing up in a technology saturated world and tend to catch on very quickly when being introduced to new technology. My biggest piece of advice and encouragement for any teacher that is intimidated at the thought of bringing more technology into their class would be to jump in and learn with the kids as you go!

There have already been many incredible moments with my students this year as they participated in various activities in Google Classroom. For instance, the first time we used the Chromebooks in class I had my students participate in a “meet and greet” utilizing the Google Slides feature. The students loved the process of sharing about themselves while learning about their classmates as well! I am excited to share my journey as I am in the thick of integrating more and more technology into my classroom in hopes of gaining more student engagement in order to make a lasting impact on their education.

I have had many humbling moments where students have politely showed me that I made a mistake with the formatting of an assignment within Google Classroom, have completely forgotten to actually upload the assignment for the students to use in Google Classroom, and many more impactful lessons. Don’t be afraid to be human in front of your students. Learn alongside them! It disarms the students and makes them feel comfortable to explore and learn from their own mistakes if you are able to be human in front of your students, admit mistakes, and laugh at yourself as you go through the technology integration process. If we prove ourselves to be continual learners, even as teachers, the students will see what it looks like to have a true love for learning which will inevitably rub off on them in their own learning pursuits.

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