15 Dec Chromebook Webinars to the Rescue: Keeping Students Up to Date on Chromebook Care
Instead of only hosting one Chromebook boot camp at the start of a one-to-one program, plan refresher webinars to reinforce care instructions.
“Hope for the best” isn’t the smartest approach when filling your schools with fragile electronics. Deploying Chromebooks to an entire district requires a thorough plan, and that plan should realistically reflect the fickle memories of young students. While many schools have mastered their deployment pipelines to keep Chromebook breakage to a minimum, others are struggling with high rates of damaged screens, hinges, ports and motherboards. To keep breakage rates under control, start treating Chromebook care as an ongoing lesson, and use quarterly webinars to keep handling instructions fresh in every student’s mind.
As much as we chuckle at early childhood shows that repeat every line three times and stretch their time with endless pauses, we have to admit that TV show producers understand one important thing about kids — they forget stuff quickly. Children have boundless, rapidly developing minds with the capacity to absorb large amounts of information, but they also need more repetition to transfer that information from short-term to long-term memory. Not to mention, many children and teens are prone to selective memory and may conveniently ignore things they don’t want to hear.
When handing out Chromebooks, keep in mind most students are more interested in checking out the new device than listening to a teacher explaining safety tips. Students might be busy checking out that cool 180-degree display on the Asus C202 while you’re telling them to be careful with the hinges. They might even hear you mention the Lenovo N21 Chromebook’s water-resistant keyboard and think, ‘Great. I can drink a soda next to it.”
At most schools, students must sign Chromebook use agreements to show they understand the rules of safe handling. Administrators have no way of knowing whether they really took the time to read these agreements, and parents often turn hostile when they receive pricey bills for damaged laptops. To better clarify what students should and shouldn’t do with school-issued Chromebooks, administrators can prepare webinars loaded with visual examples of good and bad handling.
Chromebook bootcamps and rule sheets rely on the assumption that students will remember everything they heard or read at the start of the school year. On the other hand, quarterly webinars reinforce proper use and give the entire student body a chance to interact with the district’s tech team, which could be difficult during normal school days. Today’s students are used to getting information quickly in easily digestible formats, such as video, and younger students are more likely to understand that yanking the Acer C740 lid open is a big no-no if they see it in a video.
Another benefit is the ease of updating information. Your tech team should be keeping track of breakage patterns to determine whether manufacturer defects or handling mistakes are repeatedly causing the same problems. Each subsequent webinar can be tailored to address specific breakage problems happening at your schools, helping students adjust their behavior as they go along.
Of course, webinars aren’t easy for districts with large quantities of students who don’t have internet at home, and scheduling could be a nightmare even among well-connected districts. In these cases, administrators can still share video files with Chromebook care instructions for students and parents to view offline. Having a visual guide to good Chromebook care also combats the gray area, so parents can see that students received clear warnings about sitting notebooks on top of the Lenovo Chromebook or carrying the Dell Chromebook 3120 with the lid open.
For most districts, Chromebook purchases have to last for three to five years, making it essential to teach students how to keep their computers functioning. Ongoing care sessions create ongoing accountability, reminding forgetful kids to be ever mindful of the fragile electronic devices they’re carrying around.
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