The Chromebook journey begins at EBHS!
September: In the early weeks of the college course on education technology that I teach to pre-service teachers, one student, let’s call him Wade, casually noted his surprise that the course didn’t have much to do with Google so far. In his observation of his own Jr. High aged students, Google and Chromebooks WERE technology in the classroom. I assured him that we had a whole week dedicated to Google coming soon, and then mentioned that my school division did not use Chromebooks. He was stunned and asked if I thought they would ever start using Chromebooks. My answer was “probably never”. I proceeded to explain that I had been asking for Chromebooks for several years, and kept getting told by our school tech liaison that when he went to division-wide tech meetings, it was made clear that we were going in the iPad direction, not Chromebooks.
October: My principal pops into my class and asks if I would be interested in a pilot project involving a class set of Chromebooks. My initial, likely-unprofessional reaction sounded something like this: “You mean the Chromebooks that I’ve been requesting for years, but have instead spent 3 years investing and planning in the iPad platform? Those Chromebooks?” Quickly followed by, “Of course I’m not passing up an offer for a class set of technology. When you say a ‘class set’, do you really mean a whole class set?”…. and a litany of other questions that he did not have answer for at the time.
November: I haven’t heard much about this project going forward, but when I go to a meeting at Division Office, they physically have a cart with Chromebooks in a PRSD building. I begin to realise that this Chromebook pilot may come true. Maybe using Google apps will actually become a reality!
December 5, 2016: Sometime between 2:30 and 3:00 pm, there is a knock at my classroom door and a set of 30 Chromebooks in a shiny new cart are waiting to be wheeled into my room and plugged in. I open the cart doors to make sure it’s not a cruel joke — yes, the Chromebook are really in there. I take one out, as of course the class and I
are curious….embarrassing, but I can’t get the machine to power up! I try again after school and get power and a successful log in, first time. However as soon as the first internet page shows up, it loops back to the login process. This happens repeatedly until I have to leave to teach my final Ed Tech course of the semester…..
Tomorrow I have several opportunities to use these new tools…if we can get them turned on and logged in!