Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chromebooks and BYOD

I think it's really going to happen... 
We are actually planning for a new Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in our high school for next fall! It's been a goal of mine since I started working there and this might finally be the year. I've dedicated much of this school year to revising policies. The student handbook insert has been approved and is out for printing. The district policy committees are meeting, revising, meeting, and revising...

Our building renovation is finally nearing the end after seven years, and we are in the process of installing WiFi throughout. It's been a long process and it's still not done, but we are starting to reap the benefits. Our library has a cart of 30 iPads and with WiFi we can really work on great projects with  students and teachers. They are creating tutorial videos, doing research and directing inspiring book trailers. Kids are engaged and excited to be able to get their hands on technology. Our students have been technology-deprived for so long. 

And then we got Chromebooks... They are everything I hoped they'd be! It seems to be the perfect BYOD supplemental device. I haven't really found much that the little lightweight laptop can't do for our students. I even had my 17 year-old son test it for me in place of his old MacBook. He said "this is cool" and proceeded to push aside his computer to do his homework, watch videos, create videos, and chat with friends. I know that they have limitations, but it seems the benefits far outweigh them.

I am even more in love with Google Docs and Chrome than ever before! All of our students and staff have Google education accounts. We've been preaching and teaching the benefits of using it for a couple of years and it's really catching on. Now that we can add Chrome apps, the doors have been blown wide open.

I think we'll be buying more Chromebooks next year. If students can check them out and use them throughout the day when they don't have access to their own device, we can really do some amazing things. I can't wait!

Download Chrome browser

Chrome Web Store Apps for Education

Chrome OS Guided Tour