So it has taken a bit longer than planned, but we finally logged into our own accounts today. We have been on a selection of different devices, from our 20 laptop cart, a few Chromebooks, and some desktops. The hustle and bustle of the year have delayed some technology upgrades and Chromebook enrollments, so we are struggling to get students who are very new to technology all heading in the same direction. Even though it is minor to an experienced user about which device to use, it is really critical to the beginner. What I mean to say is, I find it much easier to introduce a new technology when we are all working on the same device. In a few weeks, I’ll be happy to tackle some BYOD or a Mac/PC/iOS trifecta, but now my fifth graders are not confident tech problem solvers. At the end of last year, I can remember pulling together every different kind of device to pull together a 1:1 for a few hours, but my students were much more experienced after even a few short months of edtech learning.
So I was able to get 30 laptops for the day, and we moved through all the steps of getting them logged on to the network, then into their Google Accounts, and then access the file that I had shared with them. Last week, I started out by doing a team building lesson called Direct Hits. It was an outgrowth of Morning Meeting, where in one version of greeting students write their names on paper and crumple them up. We meet in a circle and they throw the paper, soon picking up another one and greeting the person who’s name is inside it. After, we set up a box to shoot the crumpled paper into. I used the table to record on a Chromebook, and the numbers magically appeared on the digital projector, connected to another computer (A PC!). Magic! Well not to Google Apps users, but it was to them.
The next lesson involved setting up their login cards and a contact list in my Google Account. I then sent them a shared data table called My Favorite from the edte.ch blog. Students use their cards to log into their accounts. When they get into their Drive, the see no files, and I explain to them to click on “Shared With Me” and they should be able to find anything I send them. This lesson is a great introduction to online collaboration, I pair up my class and give them cards numbered 1-15 or so depending on my student count. I gather them on the floor to discuss how the table works, and to use their number card to determine which row they need to work in. Since they all have a space to input data, everyone can collaborate easily, and it is a snap to make some conclusions about what the class is into. Here is a snapshot of the finished product:
If you haven’t already, good luck getting your tech on with Students!