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How Can Chromebooks Benefit All Core Classrooms?

How Can Chromebooks Benefit All Core Classrooms?

By Becca Sadwick

Hold students accountable for independent reading with Whooo's ReadingThe growing movement toward incorporating technology into K-12 classrooms can be polarizing. Many cite the advantages of technology—including connecting students to resources, their teachers, and each other in real time—as offering new opportunities to help students learn and develop skills necessary for the 21st century.

However, the potential consequences—including unprecedented access to content and communications that were once far removed from students’ home and classroom setting—have many parents, educators, and policymakers concerned about student safety.

When I worked with Google, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, and the Brookings Institution to produce a white paper on child Internet safety, I became acutely aware of the very real risks kids face online.

When I began working with GoGuardian, however, I became more aware of the incredible steps educators can take to keep students safe online, in some cases even leveraging technology to mitigate some of the real-world problems students have always faced on school campuses, but have had a hard time preventing. Some of these problems include simple but effective ways educators can use technology to intervene in cases of bullying, self-harm, and substance abuse.

I have spent almost all of my adult life, including undergraduate years at UCLA, focused on education and child welfare. It’s my firm belief that the benefits of technology far outweigh the consequences when risks are adequately anticipated and monitored by parents and teachers. However, this isn’t the only way educators are using technology to better the lives of their students.

Use Chromebooks to improve learning for every student.

By providing more efficient access to resources and new ways to approach, share and display material, devices, specifically Chromebooks, can have a very real impact on student outcomes. Below are some examples of how devices can be used in all core subjects.

More: Chromebooks: A Complete Teacher’s Guide

Math

Math classrooms benefit from tools that allow students to focus on the data needed to depict charts and graphs, rather than having to focus on the manual task of displaying it by hand.

Using a computer can make graphs and charts easier to make, and it certainly makes assignments easier to grade for the teacher. For students who need a little more tutoring to understand a concept, they can turn to online resources rather than relying on additional time from the teacher, which can distract teachers from the needs of the rest of the class.

Favorite Tool

The Khan Academy offers thousands of free and accessible 1:1 tutoring videos. Students can choose the topic, speed and setting to learn on their own time. This lessens the stress of keeping up with the rest of the class and allows teachers to direct more effort and resources toward students that need it most.

The Khan Academy can be the great equalizer, letting students understand material in new ways that may resonate with them, all while pausing, rewinding, and re-watching videos as often as they’d like.

More: 10 Math Apps That Teach Number Concepts

Science

Many of the uses Chromebooks have in math apply to science as well, including the ability for students to create and display data from experiments or specific resources. For digital natives, collecting, sharing, and analyzing data with devices comes as second nature. And even though they can and will share this information with others, the security and protections given to these computers is topnotch.

chromebook in use

In the realm of science, there are also YouTube lessons, Google Apps, TED Ed talks, and other ways to bring the “outside” to the inside of the science classroom. For example, most classes don’t have a chance to have an astronaut at their disposal for an hour. With Chromebooks, students can have that access and learn more than they would from reading a book. Students can even watch other students or people perform labs.

Favorite Website

Science Kids offers lessons, videos, worksheets, and interactive games, experiments and quizzes in every major science category. Encourage students to supplement their classwork, homework and experiments with the materials on Science Kids for a more thorough understanding and appreciation of the topic. They’ll thank you!

Language Arts

The language arts classroom is perhaps the easiest for most people to see how students benefit from the use of laptops. Teachers with Chromebooks no longer have to spend hours trying to decipher handwritten reports and there’s no more “the dog ate the homework” excuse because the homework is always in a Google doc.

Google docs let teachers check on student progress at any time, and redirect them to new resources to keep them on track. Teachers don’t need to collect and keep track of paper assignments; they can simply go into Google Drive or Classroom and find the progress each student has made. This not only conserves natural resources and school budgets, but most importantly, it conserves students’ and teachers’ valuable time. 

Favorite Tool

Prezi lets students create dynamic and multi-dimensional presentations about the books they’re reading or topics they’re discussing. With Prezi, students to chronicle cause-and-effect relationships more clearly than with PowerPoint, for example, allowing them to demonstrate and expand their understanding of key themes and related events.

While Google Classroom and the entire suite of Google apps are both effective at streamlining assignment workflows, Prezi gives students the ability to create and display presentations and projects in unprecedented ways that are sure to keep the whole class engaged.

More: 5 Google Docs Features Hidden in Plain Sight

Social Studies

Social studies classes benefit from computers for the same reasons all subjects do. Teachers can assign students to write reports, create graphs, and add pictures and media to make a “boring” report more interesting.

YouTube also provides classes with a great number of opportunities to study culture, languages, and other items useful for social studies, not to mention Google Maps makes geography much more exciting.

Prezi can also be used in social studies classrooms as a way to map out a series of events in a given time period, much like students might chronicle cause-and-effect relationships from books, plays or poems they read in language arts.

Favorite Tool

The History Channel: Classroom provides exciting, multi-media displays of content to supplement lesson plans. It also gives students and teachers access to study guides and other resources, making it a great content-rich site that’s also very accessible to students.

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How to Use Chromebooks in Core Classrooms

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