Seven years ago one teacher and I each acquired a 1st generation i-Pad. We spent a year answering the same questions: “What is that thing? What do you do with it?” Six years ago we were awarded a $10,000 eTech grant for the purpose of providing assistive technology for our fourth-grade inclusion classrooms. We bought ten 2nd generation i-Pads, protective cases, installed lots of apps on them and provided professional development on their use. Over that time, charging cords have been lost or damaged, teacher turn-over has occurred, and slowly the i-Pad devices have been relegated to being common e-readers when students don’t have their own devices with them.
Along with that grant purchase, I remember ordering one new device being talked about just to see what they were excited about. It was a small laptop called a Chromebook. I still use that 1st generation Chromebook as my take home device. Everyone was very skeptical of why I would buy something that: 1. wouldn’t work if you didn’t have access to the internet (you couldn’t really depend on being connected all of the time), and 2. it didn’t have Windows.
Since then, we’ve become a Google Apps For Education School and have hundreds of Chromebooks in our school district thanks to some large grants. Once the money runs out I don’t know how we will sustain their use. If anyone else is using Chromebooks on a large scale, we would love to hear how you plan to sustain their use, or have you already moved on to the next new models?
Here is a link to the next generation of Chromebooks if you are interested. Maybe I will start with just one……..