I remember back in 1997 I was given responsibility for training school staff at St.George Catholic Boys School about what the Internet was and how it was going to change everything. It was my first presentation in many over the next 20 years regarding the rapidly unfolding and exciting areas of educational technology. I’ve moved from being a tech teaching geek to an ICT Strategy Leader in these 20 years. This has all now led to a fantastic opportunity for me at the Google Innovator forum in London from 19-21 April in 2017! To say I’m excited would be an understatement. It’ll be an opportunity to meet similar like minded, educational tech enthusiastic and people with some great ideas for changing the way we learn and teach.
Where will this lead me? Watch this space!
Woohoo! After starting the sequence of exams in July 2912 I have now completed all 6 exams which means I’m Google Apps Education Certified. Each one took 90 minutes which means a total examination time of 9 hours of my life not to mention the study time beforehand!
Although it essentially involved a lot of Alt-Tab and scrolling through the Help Files it was very rewarding and enlightening to see what the educational potential of Google Apps is.
As I’m off to the first UK Chromebooks in Education Summit at Google HQ in London I thought I’d update my experience of Chromebooks in the classroom following up my previous post on them here.
Ian Nairn from C-Learning kindly lent us half a set of Chromebooks for a week. The response form the students was mostly very positive and from a administration point of view it was also a reatively seamless experinece. The hardware turned out to be very robust and at no stage did they need to be sent to the IT technical team. The only time we had what appeared to be a dead screen which was quickly recitivifed by a hard reset involving a small hole and a paper clip on the base of the Chromebook.
The students really liked the instant on nature of the Chromebooks as well as how light it was which made it pefrect for carrying around from classroom to classroom I would however still advise a padded case for this as school bags are notoriously badly treated around the playground!
Student Positive Comments:
- Liked the webcam
- Really easy to use
- HAs an SD card slot for cameras
- USB slot too so mouse can be used for those who aren’t keen on the trackpad
- 10 hours battery life is great for a school day
- They’re cute and very light and small – easy to carry around
- Much faster than normal laptops
- Can’t get viruses to slow the laptop down!
- Quick to boot up
- It has google dictionary (? – not sure about this one!)
- Trackpad took a little getting used to particularly the right click
- Double login aspects of getting through the proxy aare a little confusing
- There is no disk drive (Not sure what they need this for – more to do with the XBox generation assuming everything has to be installed via traditional media)
- We had one SEN student who much preferred the tactile nature of the iPad which he has been using for the past year.
- If the internet is down you can’t use it at all (there will shortly be an offline option which will make a significant impact in this area)