Thursday, 20 February 2014

Chromebook Questions

Skye had an awesome idea and it was to include parents in our Chromebook pilot project by hosting an information night for them about the devices and how we plan to use them. We talked about the options of having the teacher present, doing small student-run presentations for a group of parents or "Speed Geeking" (using a "Speed Dating" model to have students share apps, projects or ideas as parents rotate through stations). If parents are interested in an evening event to learn about Chromebook use, please get in touch with Shauna and one will be arranged!

Many students returned to school today with signed Appropriate Use of Chromebooks agreements. Some very interesting questions and issues were raised. Please remember that this is a learning process for ALL of us: admin, teachers, students and families! Please continue to raise questions and make comments as you notice issues.

Here are my thoughts on questions that were raised with the agreements.

"Students have no expectations of confidentiality or privacy with respect to any usage of a Chromebook. Teachers may use monitoring software that allows them to view the screens and activity on student Chromebook."

How will this happen? What are the consequences for students not doing what they are supposed to be doing?

For now, I will be monitoring the screens of students physically and having them live-blog/tweet or share their work on the Google Drives, so that students are accountable for their time online with the Chromebooks. Students will have clear guidelines and expectations of what they are to be working on and I will regularly check in with them to ensure they are doing so. If students are not working on approved tasks on approved sites, they will lose privileges. After an initial poor choice, the student will lose access to his/her assigned device for the remainder of the day, and have a discussion with the teacher. Next time, he or she will lose access for a full week. Finally, if it happens again, we will collaborate to find an appropriate consequence.

As we get things up and running, I've learned about some ways that I can see all student screens at once. There are a couple of possible ways to do this. NetSupportSchool and Hapara have systems that can be purchased and allow a teacher to monitor a class set of Chromebooks, by being able to view all users and what is on their screen at any time. Below is a video from NetSupportSchool showing how their system works.

"I will not download or use programs that my teacher has not approved."
What is the approval process? 
For the first several weeks using the Chromebooks, students will all be using the same online programs, websites, apps and extensions. I am doing a lot of research on which programs, apps and extensions will enhance and transform our learning and have several to train the students in. When students learn about apps/extensions of programs they would like to add to our repertoire (Clara has already shared about things like Lucidchart and Powtoon), they can share information with me and I will make a decision about how to introduce and use them in class. Students and I can work together to formally create an approval process for when it becomes necessary.

"I will log on to the school network and my Google account using only my own credentials (username and password)."
Will students be asked to only use their OCDSB Google account?
For now, yes. One of the great things about Google Chrome is you can have multiple users logged in at once. For example, I have a "teacher" account (with a ninja image) and a "home" account (with a little kitty) open in seperate tabs and don't have to log in and out several times a day. Right now, students will set up their accounts. Some students have their own gmail accounts and we MAY, in the future, add those as well. The main reason for adding a second account would be that, right now, on our accounts, we can't access Google Hangouts (Google's version of Skype, with other functionaliites), and Google Hangouts would be very helpful for us to collaborate with another 1:1 class, such as the students in Ms. Robin's class in California. We'll deal with this after all students are comfortable first using their own accounts.

I am open to input and ideas, please feel free to share comments here or send in a note or email!

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