My Students Have Chromebooks! Now What?

My Students Have Chromebooks! Now What?

This blog will provide a step-by-step guide for implementing Chromebooks in the classroom.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Don't Have Internet at Home... Insert crying emoji here.

Activity #5:  Learning what my students can do on their Chromebooks without internet access and what the Chromestore is all about.

Chromestore Apps

Offline Apps

Yes!  Homework Assignments for all!
(or just to finish up incomplete classwork)

Don't forget to click "offline" mode when you get your Chromebook.  Then you are good to go.  You don't have to do this every time.

**  If there is an app that you or your students feel is appropriate and conducive to learning and they would like it unblocked, let me know and I will have the I.T. Crew check it out.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Getting Up Close and Personal With Your Chromebook

Activity #4:  Customizing your Chromebook, adding bookmarks, and becoming familiar with the Moore County Schools Digital Integration Sites.

This is the fun part.  Setting the wallpaper on their Chromebooks is a way students show ownership of their personal device.  Although these devices are school property, after adding a few personal touches such as wallpaper, an avatar, and a customized bookmarks bar, students will subconsciously start to protect these machines. They will care for them as though they were the true owners.  

After customizing, nothing is worse than a borrowed device from the media center.

Let's get started.

Click on the video below to learn how students may set their very own wallpapers.

Now, let's look at possible avatars...

Click on the video below for the tutorial.

Go to the following site to create your avatar:

Get ready to set up your Bookmarks Bar!  Like a great friend, it will always be there for you!

More fun stuff with bookmarks!

Sites I recommend your students bookmark:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Making the Connection! Creating Student Contact Lists

Activity #3:  Create class contact lists so that you may email or share documents with an entire class without having to type individual student emails.

Due to student email confidentiality, I posted the next steps with pictures.

Step 1:  Click on your Google "Tic Tac Toe Icon."

Step 2:  Choose Mail

Step 3:  Click the Mail Arrow on the left of your screen

Step 4:  Click Contacts

Step 5:  Click New Group (at the bottom of the list on the left hand side)

Step 6:  Name your Group (Usually your class name)

Step 7:  Click on your newly created Group (on the left side panel)

Now, we may go back to the video tutorials...

**  In addition to using these contact lists to share Google Docs, you may also use them in your gmail to send mass emails to students.


Next Post:

- Customizing a Chromebook - including:
 * creating important bookmarks in the bookmarks bar
 * and, Digital Integration Websites 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Create, Share, and Monitor! Life Just Doesn't Get Any Easier.

There is one, very cute little red, button in your Google Drive.  

If you have the older version, it looks like this:

If you have the new version, it looks like this:

This is where all the magic happens.

When you click on this button, you might be transported to a land of Microsoft Nostalgia, if you like that sort of thing.  What you basically get is access to all your favorite word processing programs.  As with anything technology, though, there is always a catch.  Remember when you had to just buckle down and accept the fact that Open Office was just a little different than the original Microsoft Office Suite you were so accustomed to?

Well, you will probably get that same kind of "not so warm and fuzzy feeling" this time as well, but I assure you that your students know these programs and they are wizards with them.  They are the real focus anyway right?  So let's get started.

Activity #2:  Let's find out what we can create using Google Drive.  What are our sharing options?  Also, learn about "Read Only," better known as "Can View" Documents for your students and how to monitor student work through the 
Revision History tool.  

So what's the big deal with Google Drive and why the shift?  It was perfectly fine the old way with regular documents right?

Just a few encounters from teaching my classes in the past that Google Drive solves:

- Student did not name the document and did not type name anywhere in the document
- Student does not remember where the document was saved.
- Students copy and paste from the internet.
- "Do I save this in "My Documents" "Desktop" or "The C Drive"?
- "I lost my flash drive."
- "I did my work on another computer."
- "I don't remember which computer I used to do my work."
- "My flash drive broke."
- "My dog ate my flash drive."
- "My flash drive fell in the toilet."
- "I forgot to save my document."
- "I accidentally kicked the plug out of the wall before I saved."
- Uh oh!  Power outage in the entire school.  "Did anyone remember to save?"
- "I did my work, but it deleted or erased."
- "I can't complete assignments at home because I don't have internet access."
- "I made this awesome video for my project, but the file is too big to email to you."

What a relief to know that not ONE of the situations above will occur while using Google Drive.  Even if the internet drops, students still have the ability to use their Google Drives with their Chromebooks offline.  Whenever the internet is restored, the documents will refresh and update including any changes.  

Most importantly though, in my opinion, Google Drive was created as a collaboration tool.  Hundreds of people could work with the same document at the same time!  Even though you would not want 100 people editing one document, it is possible.

In reality, 4 students could work on the same power point in or out of school.  With or without internet.  Everyone chips in and works together, or not.  They might just work alone.  This just might prepare them to work on a team in the business world.  Additionally, remember when you had to assign special jobs to students because some would carry the weight of others?  That's what revision history is for.  Just check what a student typed and what time they typed it, BY EACH EDIT!  So exciting!

Remember from Activity #1, whenever you create a document or anything for that matter, you have the option to SHARE it.  Let's review the 3 options with regard to sharing rights and some classroom implementations.

Please walk through the following tutorial videos:

Have you ever wondered just exactly how much effort your students are putting into their assignments?  Now, you have the option to track their work every single time they edit any document, power point, drawing, etc... in Google Drive. 

It's called "Revision History" and it's wonderful!

**Note: A student can "hide" their revisions by just making a copy of their original work and sharing that copy with you, but just make it a requirement that they share their original and that will take care of any sneakiness.  

The videos below will show you just how this works.

Video Link

What a screen shot would look like (for a parent).


Next Post:

- Creating student contact lists in Gmail and using them to share documents.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Give Me the Keys So I Can "Drive!"


*******START HERE!*******

All of your students have access to their own Google Drive.  This is basically a large space where they may keep files, pictures, videos, forms, drawings, folders, etc...  It's kind of like a giant flash drive that you never lose and it will never break.  Or at least we hope so for now...

This is the Google Drive Symbol:

**  If you are not working with a Chromebook, Google Drive may be accessed from ANY computer or device by typing: in the search bar.  Then, you will see the "tic tac toe" icon in the upper right of your screen.

Activity #1:  Let's Create a Google Doc and Put it in a Folder

First, ask your students to click on their Drive Icon (pictured above).  They can find this on the bottom of their Chromebook Screen inside their "Tic Tac Toe Icon."

Don't forget!  Drive is different than email.

This is what the email icon looks like:

****  Please note:  If you are using an ipad, your Google Drive Experience will be limited.  For example, you will not be able to copy and paste pictures to documents or slide shows.  You will not see the "tic tac toe" icon on your ipad.  You may access Google Apps through the "More" link on the top of your ipad screen after visiting

When they have opened their Drive, this is where the magic happens:

NEW is where you choose what you want to create.
MY DRIVE is all the folders and files you have created.
INCOMING is where all the files are that others have sent to you.
RECENT is where you can find the most recent files you have edited.
STARRED are any files you have added a "Star" to because you want to mark it as very important, or you want to easily access it.  You can do this by clicking on the file, folder, or anything you want to "star" and then click on the "drop down dots," and then choose "Add Star."



You may even choose a color for your star!

TRASH is self explanatory.  You may even retrieve "trashed files" as long as you don't delete them from your trash forever.  


Have your students create a folder, specific for your class.  They should repeat this process for ALL classes.  This way, they can organize their assignments for all classes.

1.  Go to NEW, then FOLDER
2.  Name your folder.  For example:  SCIENCE - 2014-15

****  It is important that you stress that your students type their name if they will be sharing this folder with you!

Notice!  It you create a new folder it will now be located in your Drive.
****  If you "right click" on this folder, you can change the color of it and possibly have a different color for each class!

3.  Double click on the folder you have just created.
4.  Now, click "NEW" on the left (in RED).
5.  Click on "Google Docs."

Now, your students are working with a "Word" Document within your specific class folder.

6.  Have students name their document.

On the upper left of the document, they just click on "Untitled Document" and give it a name.

The cool thing about Google Drive is that ANYTHING you create is automatically saved.  Even if you forget to name it.  It will just remain in your Google Drive as "Untitled Document" until you trash it forever.  So, students can NEVER use the excuse "It deleted" or "I did it, but I can't find it."  Trust me, if they created it, it's there!

Whenever you create something, you have the option of sharing it.

7.  After they type what you want them to type, have your students share this document with you.

There are many ways to do this.  I will review the basics.

On the upper right of your document, you will click "SHARE."

The most basic way is to have your students type your school gmail address into the box.

Just in case you are wondering...

CAN EDIT means that the person being shared with will have full editing rights of the document.
CAN COMMENT means that the person being shared with will not have editing rights, but will still be able to make comments within the work.
CAN VIEW means that the person being shared with will ONLY be able to view the document.


What will then happen is that you will receive about 30 documents in your Google Drive and about 30 emails in your gmail, depending on the number of students in your classes, letting you know you received a new document.  So, let's go over some other tips and techniques.  All in all, it's your choice.

By the way, GOOGLE CLASSROOM does organize class folders for you and does allow your students to submit work, but it is imperative that you understand the basics of Google Drive FIRST, before you dive into Google Classroom. 


Okay, so if you don't want an additional email notification every time someone sends you a document, you need to do the following:

After they click "SHARE" they need to click "ADVANCED" on the bottom right of the box.


THEN, ask the sender to uncheck the following:


After they type your email and click send, you will see their document in your "Incoming" or "Shared With Me" Section of your Google Drive.




This might seem like extra work in the beginning, but you might appreciate it later on...

Instead of having students create separate folders for each class, in YOUR Google Drive, create a folder for every student you teach.  Label each folder something like this:


Then, share each individual folder with the correct student.

How do you share an actual folder?

Just highlight the folder in your Google Drive by clicking on it ONCE.  Double clicking will open it.

It will turn blue.

Now, click the share icon at the top right of your screen.  It looks like this:

Have students create any file specific to your class within this folder.  This way YOU are the owner and the student cannot delete the folder.  They can only delete the contents of the folder.

You can also access the "Folder Activity" and see when students either posted or removed items using the "Drop down dots" I mentioned earlier.

This is a great way to track work to show parents too!



How might I share "read only" documents with students
How do I track students' work using Revision History?