Smoothly Transition into School with Google Classroom and Intel-based Chromebooks
The most exciting and scary phrase a teacher can hear is “We are getting Intel®-based Chromebooks for our students.” Exciting for the possibilities of having technology in the hands of students. Downright frightening since we have no idea how to use technology with students for effective teaching. Teaching with technology requires new classroom management techniques, digital literacy skills and overcoming potential bumps such as the Internet being down.
Google Classroom on Intel-based Chromebooks greatly eases the process for going digital. It is part of the Google Apps for Education suite of products. In a nutshell, Google Classroom allows teachers to assign work and collect it.
Accessing Google Classroom on an Intel-based Chromebook is easy for both students and teachers. Click on the “Launcher” in the bottom left corner of the Chromebook screen. This icon looks like a magnifying glass. Choose the Web Store option and search for “Classroom.” Add the Google Classroom App to the Chromebook. This adds the Google Classroom icon to the “All Apps” view. Google Classroom can also be accessed by going to http://classroom.google.com on the Chrome browser.
When using digital tools, be consistent. It is recommended that teachers always have students start in Google Classroom rather than sometimes verbally, sometimes on the board and sometimes on the computer. Students quickly understand to open their Intel-based Chromebook, go to Google Classroom and access what they are supposed to be working on. When adjusting instruction to student needs, update Google Classroom and ask students to find the new links and information there.
Classrooms with Intel-based Chromebooks can easily go paperless. Google Classroom works with Google Drive to allow students to complete their work using Google Docs: Documents, Slides presentations, Sheets spreadsheets, and Google Drawings. Teachers can create a template in Google Docs and push out a copy to each student through Google Classroom. Classroom automatically attaches the document for the student to turn in. What makes this process revolutionary is that the teacher has access to student work while the student is working on it. This changes feedback from being punitive to formative. Teachers can get into the work and come alongside students to provide comments and work with students before it is due.
Teachers are able to assign work and collect it through Google Classroom. After setting up a class, teachers click on the plus icon in the bottom right and choose to post an announcement, assignment or question. Asking the students a question is a great way to get started with Google Classroom. Students respond right in the class stream and the teacher is able to view everyone’s responses at once. Google Classroom tallies how many students have answered the question and provides the teacher a list of who has and has not responded.
A significant amount of class time can be regained when using Google Classroom to distribute and collect. Teachers can attach any files on their computer or in their Google Drive right to an assignment or post. Additionally teachers can post a video from YouTube or link to any website to provide students with resources. Google Classroom can truly replace the copy machine, freeing teachers from spending time making photocopies. Marking an attachment as “Create a copy for each student” distributes a copy to each student that is automatically shared between the teacher and student. Other students are not able to see the work of other students.
The Intel processor-based Dell 11 Chromebook is rugged and allows for students to do 3D renderings of learning models, explore their world with Google Maps, and video recordings. The Dell 11 Chromebook allows for students to engage with their learning in new and dynamic ways. Many educational sites provide new ways to have students interact with their learning: https://flat.io/en, http://www.ck12.org/, https://newsela.com/, http://docentedu.com/, https://www.zaption.com/, https://quizlet.com/, https://www.peardeck.com/, https://learnzillion.com/.
Help students to follow the directions and understand the task by encouraging them to use sid e by side windows. On the Dell 11 Chromebook students can hold down the alt key and press [ to dock the window to the left or ] to dock the window to the right. Students dock the directions in Google Classroom to the left and dock the work they are doing on the right side of the screen. For websites that integrate sharing to Google Classroom, students are able to submit their work right from the site. Alternatively students can click on “Add” in the assignment submission screen to add a link to their work. Students can take screenshots of their work on the Dell 11 by pressing the ctrl key and pressing the switch windows key above the 6 key. Students then click on “Add” in the assignment submission screen and attach screenshots with the paperclip file attachment.
The Intel i3 processor results in a faster experience, this keeps students working on task more often; rather than waiting for things to load. Technology such as Intel-based Chromebooks allow for faster connections between teachers and students, and between students. Google Classroom allows teachers to share to the stream of assignments and announcements, links to resources and student exemplars. Students can ask questions by posting to the stream in Google Classroom 24/7. Since other students have access to the stream, students are able to learn from and help each other. The question feature allows teachers and students to instantly hear from everyone in the class. Student assignments are instantly available to the teacher to allow for feedback and support throughout the learning process.
Using Intel-based Chromebooks along with Google Classroom takes the pain out of blended learning. Students are able to be more actively involved in their learning and to experience new learning activities. Teachers can focus less on management and more on interacting and engaging with students. This is a whole new definition of what school looks like; Intel-based Chromebooks and Google Classroom make the transition easier than ever.
Alice Keeler is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and the co-author of the book “50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom.” Alice blogs on educational technology, Google Classroom and Google Apps at http://alicekeeler.com You can connect with Alice on Twitter @alicekeeler