General Science and Teaching

Use of Chromebooks in Science Classrooms

I'm starting a job at a new school this upcoming school year and they are transitioning to having 1:1 chromebooks for all students starting next year.  Does anybody currently teach in this environment?  How do you use the chromebooks in your classroom?

Chris Leverington
Chris Leverington
4015 Activity Points

We have started using Schoology and the kids mostly use their own devices. Using Chrome Books will most certainly find many ways to explore the internet. On the other hand your classroom opens to the world and information, resources, etc are at your fingertips. Hopefully you will have software to monitor what they are doing. Your curriculum guide should suggest websites as well as the text. Your students live in the technology world and their curiosity and interest is there.

Alec Richardson
Alec Richardson
615 Activity Points

Hi Chris, We currently use a 1:1 Chromebook program and I love it. If your school uses Google Apps for Education, the sky is the limit! I use Google Classroom for all my classes in Grades 6-8, and it's helped me become an almost paperless classroom. Once you get into using Google Forms and pairing with add-ons like Flubaroo, you can cut down your grading time by switching to auto-grade. For instruction, if you have probeware, you can pair it with websites like the Concord Consortium (http://concord.org/ngss/) for more project-based instruction and data collection. There also more options for simulations, such as pHet. I would advise that you set some ground rules and consequences for proper Chromebook use, especially if you have younger students. Take the time to go over proper treatment of equipment, how to cite sources, etc. With Chromebooks, students can Google almost everything so make sure your assignments require them to do more brainwork and legwork rather than just quick searches online. Oh, and if you can, learn how to work the Kiosk mode. If you switch to online quizzes, you can control their screens via Kiosk mode so they don't toggle their screens and look up answers on the internet! When you get the time, Google Eric Curtis. He has lots of wonderful free Google for Education tutorials to help you use GAFE tools more effectively in the classroom. Best of luck! It's tons of fun with the Chromebooks.

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Robinson
5065 Activity Points

Hey Chris,

At the beginning of the year, I shared a Chromebook cart with another teacher which proved rather difficult. Fortunately, I got my own cart halfway through the school year. I  began to replace normal routines in the classroom with digital versions such as warm-ups and quizzes. I plan to expand this to digital notebooks next year. I use the Google Suite for Education quite frequently for collaboration, feedback, and assessments. I use Google Classroom to house most online assignments and all warm-up questions. There are endless resources on the internet for our students to utilize!

 

Camillia Ledbetter
Camillia Ledbetter
785 Activity Points

Our school is adding Chromebooks to classrooms and I was fortunate to get a class set. Our school also uses Google Apps so I utilize Google Classroom which is very user friendly. The students have to adjust to completing and submitting work online, but once they get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. I am working towards having all of their lab reports typed and submitted online where I can offer highly valuable feedback in the "comments" part of Google Docs. This will also allow me to really see if they understand the concepts from the lab and I can individually ask questions within their document and have them respond. The Chromebooks can also take pictures so students can digitally record their lab work and insert those photos into their report. Having students generate graphs and charts in Google Sheets is very graphic and you can use large amounts of data. I do "bell ringers" or Do Now activities using Google Forms and 5 multiple choice questions. The extension Flubaroo grades an assignment like that in seconds. I see the Chromebooks as a great advantage over traditional classrooms because the students can access so much more information and produce high quality work. Using Google Docs or Slides, students can collaborate in real time to create new material which is an upper level skill. Another advantage is that Google is web based, so student files are not locked up in the schools server. Students can access, work on, and submit work from anywhere there is internet.

Padraic McCarthy
Padraic McCarthy
775 Activity Points

The school I used to work for began using Chromebooks (not a complete 1:1, but several classrooms had a set) we also incorporated using Google apps and students were doing much of their writing on Google Docs. Although I didn't use the Chromebooks too much in my science classroom, I found the transition to Google Docs made for a much richer experience between my students and I as I was able to work with them on lab reports and their big independent science project almost in real time through comments and editing on Google docs. Less lag time, and much easier than writing comments on paper and handing back!

Sarah Benton Feitlinger
Sarah Benton
1765 Activity Points

We have a 1:2 ratio of Chrome books for our students and throughly enjoy using them. We use Google Classroom quite a bit. I can share out assignments (including video clips they need to view), and the students will work their assignments and then submit them back to me. I also have the ability to comment on them as well. There are other sites that are fun for the kids such as Kahoot.it. You can create quick quizes to asses their knowledge instead of a KWL chart. I have had my students submit their own questions at the end of the unit that I then type up and the kids really enjoy seeing their own questions asked. There are a lot of options available, much more than I thought when I first got mine.

Marie Lichte
Marie Lichte
620 Activity Points

We have a set of Chromebooks that gets shared throughout the third grade hallway. It is frustrating at times to only get the Chromebooks at certain times because other classrooms wanting them, but we love using them! The students have learned how to use Google and sometimes they are teaching me how to do certain things on them. In our classroom last year, we had students that would create Google slideshows on information that they were researching online by themselves. This was never assigned to the students, but they just loved learning new information and presenting it to the class. This was really exciting for us to watch!Their computer skills and ability to maneuver through technology is amazing compared to when I was in elementary or middle school. I think that teaching them how to use technology or Google now will help them as they go through high school and beyond that.

Amber Swander
Amber Swander
595 Activity Points

Hi Amber! One way to quell the frustration of having to share a chromebook cart between classrooms is to set up a schedule. Many teachers don't use the chromebooks every day, and if they know exactly what day they are going to have the chromebooks, we can plan our activities around the schedule. It cuts back on the frustration and the arguing of when each person is going to have access to the chromebooks.

Harley Kitching
Harley Kitching
597 Activity Points

Hi, I'm very impressed with the various usage of new technology in the classroom. I can't believe each student receives a Chromebook. I currently volunteer at a local middle school and they don't have access to individual technology i.e. personal iPad or Chromebook. I have some questions to ask at the next school meeting.

Natarsia Flournoy
Natarsia Flournoy
895 Activity Points

Most of the schools I have worked with through my placements have had access to chromebooks for each student. Most of the time they simply use the technology as a way to reduce the use of paper in the classroom, but many of the students are not as technologically advanced as I would have thought. Many of them have little to no experience using Google Services to organize their lives or turn in assignments. However, there are some activities I have seen that are really unique like Digital Room Escapes or Digital Quests. The use of technology has come a long way and has been incorporated well into our classrooms, but we need to also teach our students how to use that technology to support their further development. When I graduated from high school and moved into a college setting, it was understood that we would need to use Google Services to complete many of our assignments, but I had no experience using Google Services other than my email.

Harley Kitching
Harley Kitching
597 Activity Points

We have used chromebooks in our classrooms for quite some time, however one thing I've found is that they are equal parts a great learning tool and a huge distraction. There are amazing resources that can be found online such as Gizmo (a virtual lab website) and Legends of Learning (a game website aligned to the scientific standards). One tool that will help you is LANSchool, which is a screen monitoring and control service for the chromebooks (your school may have a version of this already downloaded). This helps monitor the student's computer time to keep them on task. Hope this helps!

Zach Millan
Zach Millan
599 Activity Points

I think that chromebooks can be a good positive if managed correctly and a larger negative if mismanaged. There are great resources like: PhET Simulations, Legends of Learning, EDPuzzle, Khancademy, Codecademy, Gimkit, Quizziz, Quizlet, Kahoot etc. that can be very useful to keep the students engaged with the material. Plus - you can easily organize your class with google classroom (great for distance learning!). 

My experience this year with middle schoolers was that most of the students would use their devices appropriately but many would try to sneak in videogames during class or even Netflix(WHAT!!!)! There are apps teachers can use to control the student devices - but the drawback is it gives you something else to worry about/manage. IT departments can block certain websites and games for the students but the students will typically find a new website/game when their usual one gets blocked. 

Overall - I think the classroom set of chromebooks is easier to manage than each student having their own. I love the simulations and tools online - but I think the technology and students need to be well managed for it to really enhance a classroom.

Matthew Mellor
Matthew Mellor
980 Activity Points

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