Friday, February 17, 2012
I am an Instructional Coach for my district and I am responsible for assisting teachers in the areas of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and technology integration. This last charge means that, in the effort to find quality technology to meet instructional and learning needs, I GET TO PLAY WITH SOME REALLY COOL THINGS!
Yesterday, I received a couple of Chromebooks to get to know, use with students and teachers, and to see if they would be an adequate tool for our students. The only time I have used a Chromebook was at my Google Teacher Academy in Seattle this past summer. At the time, I put it aside and used my MacBook Pro because I experienced some obstacles immediately. But, in fairness, the GTA was moving quick and I needed to be on familiar ground.
Full disclosure, here...we have a lot of iPads in our district and a lot of iPad fanatics. I love my iPad! I think it could be a great possibility for a 1:1 program. When it first came out, I was very skeptical of the iPad, but as Apple has responded to the education needs, the skepticism has lightened. Not gone...but lightened.
So, as I get to know this machine, I am going to share with you my findings, likes, and dislikes.
1. I like that it has a keyboard
2. Google Docs works awesome
3. Quick start-up
4. I like the idea of the Search Key. However...I miss the caps-lock key it replaced (see my dislikes)
1. No caps-lock key. You can do it, but it is an "Easter Egg." (press both shift keys simultaneously)
2. Not as intuitive as an iPad. iPods, iPhones, and Macs have helped to train us in that, though.
3. Not all Google products work. How do you create a machine and not have a way to use all of your products?
It will be interesting to get teachers' input on this because their frustration with iPads comes from the inability to run tried-and-true Flash websites and an awkward keyboard. Further, I look forward to seeing if there are viable alternatives to Apple's iLife Suite that will allow kids to be as creative.
I will keep playing and keep sharing my thoughts and those of my teachers.
Have a happy day!