30 Mar 4 Ways Chromebook Initiatives Are Boosting Student Accountability
Chromebook 1:1 programs give students 24/7 remote access to their files, making kids of all ages more accountable for classwork.
In the fading days of spiral-bound notebooks, hefty textbooks and chalkboard notes, students had countless opportunities to “lose” information. Whether students chose the old-school “dog ate my homework” ploy or the modernized “my computer crashed,” version, teachers had limited ability to investigate dubious excuses. Now, Chromebook programs are giving students increased access to classroom resources and work files, putting those old tall tales to rest.
- Homework doesn’t go missing.
Telling the teacher your pet/computer/sibling ruined your homework won’t cut it in Chromebook schools. All files are stored and continually backed up in the cloud, making them accessible from another device, even if a student’s assigned Chromebook malfunctions. Instead of writing assignments on chalkboards, many teachers send digital worksheets straight to their student contact lists or provide assignment portals, eliminating the chance of missed information.
When students have questions, they can usually reach out to teachers or fellow classmates through features such as online conferencing. The bottom line is the majority of students are intimidated by the idea of starting an unnecessary confrontation with a teacher. Students are more likely to follow through on assignments if the alternative is admitting to skipping out on it without a reason.
- Students are encouraged to self-edit.
Using the Google Apps suite means students don’t live with the constant fear of forgetting to save work. In addition to auto-saving data, programs such as Google Docs and Google Sheets store past versions of files, making it easy for students to revert back or compare changes.
Whether writing papers, designing graphs or collaborating on presentations, multiple versions also give students more flexibility to review their own work and consider areas that need improvement. And of course, students have a wealth of tools and add-ons for revising, highlighting and brain mapping to stimulate communication and analytical skills. As students become accustomed to automatically viewing their work with a critical eye, they probably won’t need those backup versions.
- Students learn to give and receive constructive criticism.
Teachers at Chromebook schools sing endless praises for the devices’ support for classroom and remote collaboration. Peer editing and group collaboration projects let students step into leadership and team roles while requiring them to apply an objective view to fellow students’ work. From a teacher’s perspective, letting go of the reins also encourages older students to make independent decisions and transition out of a micro-managed classroom environment.
Most importantly, students become comfortable with viewing their work from external perspectives, reducing negative reactions. At the same time, collaborating challenges students to evaluate information, think critically and communicate clearly and respectfully when delivering criticism.
4) Device repair rates don’t skyrocket.
Many schools piloting Chromebook programs have reported remarkably low repair and replacement rates, and upon closer look, the low maintenance isn’t that surprising. Modern children are growing up with mobile technology, and failing to care for school devices could potentially mean being out of the loop.
Of course, schools are making the effort to research highly damage-resistant cases from school-oriented manufacturers like Volume Cases. But students have physical control over devices when they leave school and are ultimately left with the choice of playing Chromebook hockey or keeping their trusty computer well-maintained and ready for another day of work.
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