WSR Tech Team Member
Due to being a member of the Tech Team, I had the opportunity to aid in the the decision whether or not the Waverly-Shell Rock high school should make the leap from iPads to Chromebooks- and if so, with or without touchscreen. My contribution was to test out the Chromebook in my classes and keep a journal as feedback for our technology department and administrators. I jokingly entitled my records “The Journey of a Girl and a Chromebook,” but as it turns out, journey was a hundred percent the correct word to use.
My generation is being called the visual generation, wanting information to be handed to us through pictures and video- but also us wanting to give information the same way. Over the past two years of having iPads, I have made over 20 iMovies/other visual presentations for projects that were then airplayed for the whole class to watch. However, I have had to write over 20 papers in the past two years and have written 0 on my iPad (not only is typing difficult without a true keyboard, but creating, editing, and sharing a document was near impossible due to compatible formatting difficulties [until recently with Google Docs]).
At the time of receiving the Chromebook to test try the spring of my junior year, I was needing to write two papers, plus a few assignment which were writing intensive. Naturally I was thrilled to have be able to have constant access to a computer! Up until this point of desperation, I was through and through ‘Team iPad’ for all the reasons previously mentioned. After finishing my assignments through Google Docs, I started exploring. It was wonderfully simplistic to shuffle through my email in the browser format again. Soon after I found the Chrome Web Store (the Google equivalent to the App Store). In which I found most of my favorite apps, plus a few more useful ones I did not have access to on my iPad.
I was thrilled by my findings, but I missed my iPad, specifically the touchscreen aspect; I had grown very accustomed to being literally hands-on. As if our administration was listening to my thoughts, I soon had a touchscreen Chromebook in my hands to test. After having the privilege to try such a magnificent machine- I was convinced. I might as well have bought a t-shirt saying loud and proud ‘Team Touchscreen Chromebook’ because I was all in.
Putting features aside, there are two more reasons I would recommend Chromebooks: 1) I found that if you have any questions about the features of the Chromebook, Google serves as a manual. An example is I couldn’t find a caps lock key, so I googled “chromebook caps lock key” and they clearly told me what I needed. 2) When I (and most of my peers) go off to college, we will more than likely purchase a laptop to take with us; having laptops one-on-one in high school will only allow us to find more tools to put into our tool belts with online resources and apps to use in the future, along with problem solving methods which will be crucial for success.
During this next year, my senior year, Waverly-Shell Rock High School students will be allowed to have one-on-one touchscreen Chromebooks. There will be iPad labs available to check out to classrooms and individuals when needed. As it turns out, I had titled my journal correctly with the word ‘journey’, but incorrectly with the word ‘girl’. This is about a student needing to find the best tools to help her learn best.