Finally, students got the chance to put their hands on the new devices. Well… after I made a few last comments about how to take good care of the netbooks. Today students walked through the steps of how to login and use a chrome netbook, which is a tad different than the old way. They took their first try at using gmail, read through a message from me, and linked to a shared google doc that I had created. We tested out yet another math site, MangaHigh. This may be our fourth site that we have tested, and possibly my favorite so far.
After a morning full on new technology, we then tried out some more. I’ve been thinking about a different way to organize reading logs and get students interested in reading in general, so I shared I site I’ve been interested in for some time called GoodReads. Students created their own accounts, friended others in the class, added books they have read and started tracking the current books they are reading in class. I like that I am able to share my reading with them, and also easily see and read about what other students are doing.
We did have a few issue today. At times a few of the netbooks had trouble accessing the network like the should, and one time during MangaHigh several students could not get the site to load properly. It may be an issue with the Wifi in our classroom, so we may need to add some more bandwidth. None of the sites we used today seemed to have much trouble running in chrome. A few students reported slow load times, but it was not a major factor. Not any worse than usual I guess.
Overall, students did a great job handling some big changes. It is not easy to get used to a brand new platform. For example, it took about five minutes to just learn about using the new trackpad feature, five minutes to understand how the wrench works, five minutes to learn about extensions and apps, five minutes to see how bookmarks work, five minutes to figure out how using tabs is helpful. All the little things add up and don’t really get talked about much. Learning anything new takes time, and the first time you use it always takes double what you plan.
Looking back at the day I’ve got a list of things I wish I’d mentioned. I want students learn about the right way to use the Chrome Web Store, adjust their settings in GoodReads, create google docs and learn about using the web camera in their device. I just need to remember to take it slow, and stay patient. I think that may have been the hardest thing about the day.
New Motto: Slow Down, Be Patient.