In our last blog we delved into teacher tips for managing iPads in the classroom. If you read the title and thought to yourself, “but my class uses Chromebooks, what about us?” – fear not. In this blog post we’ll go over everything you need to know about managing Chromebooks in the classroom.
Google’s Chromebook is a unique kind of laptop that runs Google’s Chrome operating system. As one would imagine, most of the native applications and programs on a Chromebook rely heavily on cloud storage and functionality – Google Docs, Google Drive, etc.
This cloud-based OS is ideal for an educational environment, as students can save their work and share it with their teachers in real time, without having to worry about finding the right version of a document or corrupted Microsoft Word files.
With these benefits in mind, let’s jump into some key tips for managing Chromebooks in the classroom.
Develop an Acceptable Usage Policy. No matter which device your students are using, if you don’t have a comprehensive Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) you’re just asking for trouble. This is especially the case in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom with more than a handful of students, as it can be near impossible to keep an eye on everyone at the same time. Your AUP should be signed by students and parents, and include Chromebook care guidelines, what kind of use is allowed on school property and in the classroom, as well as what should happen if a student’s Chromebook is damaged. Your AUP can serve as your cornerstone for managing Chromebooks in the classroom.
Make the most of Google for Education. Google has a vast number of resources available specifically for teachers and parents, collectively known as Google for Education. And with a classroom of Chromebooks, you are in the best position possible to get the most from this valuable resource.
Right out the box, Chromebooks are equipped with the educational G Suite – a selection of core Google services that are suited for your school and classroom environment. These include the usual suspects, such as Google Drive and Google Docs, as well as more education-specific ones like Google Classroom and Google Slides.
If you aren’t already using Google Classroom – you’re missing out. The service allows you to manage a group of users (your class), and then create, share and mark assignments and projects. When your teaching is streamlined and your students are all on the same page, managing Chromebooks in the classroom will be a breeze. For more on this great service, check out the official page here.
Invest in infrastructure to keep your students safe. When you’re facing a class full of students on laptops connected to the internet, the prospect of keeping them safe from inappropriate or harmful content can be daunting – not to mention the risk of endless distraction from social media.
Thankfully, there are numerous tools available to create a safe and productive learning environment for your students. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software like Mobile Guardian, for example, gives teachers full control over what students can access with their devices through a simple and intuitive dashboard. In addition to classroom monitoring and Chromebook management, you can also disable certain apps and programs during class time, so that the temptation to check Facebook during a lesson isn’t even there. With the right school management software, you can rest easy and focus more of your energy on helping your students get the most from their education.
Mobile Guardian’s MDM solution can make managing Chromebooks in the classroom a simple and productive task.