What is the Educational Value?
Q. What is the educational value of students having Chromebooks?
A. Currently, St. Ignatius, Martyr Catholic School has close to 80 computers across the campus available to students (52 available to 5th to 8th grades). Those computers available for student use reside in fixed spaces that are limited in number. Over the last couple of years we have seen increased demands placed on scheduling those computers. By providing students with mobile devices that are instant on, with quick access to both the Internet and the School’s Student Google Apps for Education accounts, we are not only able to alleviate space and availability issues with our more traditional labs but we now have the ability to turn any space into a technology rich learning environment within seconds.
Q. Will teachers get Chromebooks?
A. All of our faculty in Middle School and all teachers who teach the 5th grade were issued Chromebooks in January of the 2011-12 school year.
Q. Will students use their Chromebook in every class?
A. Chromebooks are a great device for accessing the web, typing notes, doing research, and a host of other tasks using a variety of web-based applications. However, in classes like Math the Chromebooks may not be used as they would be in other classes.
Q. Can students take all their notes on a Chromebook?
A. Yes. Students can take notes using Google Docs and as we transition to Google Apps for Education our teachers will work within individual class timelines to help students transition to this format as part of the pilot. In addition, students can also explore Evernote, an online tool with offline apps, to manage their note taking.
Q. Will textbooks be available for download onto the Chromebooks?
A. The world of publishing is quickly changing with college textbooks and secondary textbooks becoming a large focus for both major publishers and entrepreneurs seeking to get them into the hands of students. St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic School is presently researching e-texts for our Middle School (6th to 8th grades). In addition, we believe that Amazon’s recent announcement about their Kindle Textbook Rental program could be a game changer moving forward.
Note: Chromebooks can use Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader. The new Social Studies textbooks purchased for the 2013-2014 have a 6 year subscription to the on-line etextbook.
Q. Will Chromebooks change what students are currently learning or just how they learn it?
A. By providing a mobile device to each student we believe that the curriculum will be enhanced by extending learning opportunities both inside and outside of our classrooms. While the content of what is taught by our faculty will not change, St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic School now has an opportunity to further explore how that content is delivered, how we engage our students in their learning, and how we teach problem solving, collaboration, and creativity
Adapted from Google @ Ravenscroft Blog