John Shoup arranged for various technology related training during their staff development day at the start of this month. I taught a couple of sessions on Google Classroom for those that hadn’t used it yet, and I think we have a few more converts! For those of you not familiar, this is Google’s online classroom tool, not for remote teaching so much (although that’s possible), but rather to act as the online repository of classroom content and to facilitate communication with students and parents. There are lots of these platforms out there now, and students will likely come across them in any post-secondary education they are involved in. Google’s version strikes a good balance between ease of use and practical functionality, tying their Google Docs together in a very convenient manner. It’s what I’m currently advocating for, and as we move closer to 1:1 I’m hoping more and more of our teachers see the value in having all their class materials, assignments and communications available online to access anywhere and at any time.
And speaking of student computers, we’re planning on purchasing more Chromebooks shortly! Our oldest carts are now 5 years old, underpowered (even for Chromebooks!), and out of software support, so we have two carts of computers in the middle school and one in the high school that we’ll be replacing. At the same time the middle school will be adding 2 additional, and the high school one more. As the number of carts we’ve purchased each year has steadily increased it does mean that each year going forward we’ll have more to replace until we reach a steady upgrade cycle. It looks as though we will get up to 5 years out of them, which isn’t bad for a relatively inexpensive device (most districts that budget for regular replacement cycles are replacing their Chromebooks every 3 to 4 years).