Stress Free Chromebook Use in the Classroom

Linda Faulk on Tuesday, 30 Jan 2018
Studios (1)
I have used a chromecart in my classroom on a regular basis for the last 3 years.  Before that, I was trekking to the computer lab (we wasted a lot of class time, but we got some exercise). I have used a variety of internet activities in my classroom ever since my third year of teaching. Over that time, aside from the focused tasks that we accomplish online, I have learned some basic rules that now part of my classroom rules procedures that I print, share with students and have them paste in their notebooks.  I have listed them here in order of importance, not necessarily the way the students learn it in the classroom. 1) Report any damage immediately—If the next class reports damage to the device you used, you will be held responsible. 2) Absolutely no liquids or food on the desks—Even water.  If you need a drink, get up, move to the back of the room, quickly drink and return to work. If water gets on the device, it will damage it. 3) Chromebooks/Devices need to stay level on desks—Do not wave them in the air, sit them on laps, on top of backpacks or anywhere else.  4) Stay on task:  Use of computers is a privilege which can be revoked at any time if you are off task.  Off task includes any activity that is not directly assigned to you by the teacher.  If the teacher doesn’t say it, don’t do it.   5)Use time wisely—The goal is to get the activity done.  If you finish early, there are alternate activities you will be assigned for fun..  But if you don’t finish at all, you will have homework.   6) Return and Put devices away properly. When time is called, you have 3-4 minutes to clean up.  Each device has a number and needs to be returned and plugged in to that numbered slot.     My school uses Go Guardian to monitor student activity.  I can see which students are off task, which are just sitting an not working by monitoring on a computer.  It also records the activity in case of dispute.  Once a students was off task for 10 minutes (OK, I am not staring at the screen the entire time ) and when I locked him out, he claimed he was on the other site for 10 seconds and complained to his parents about unfair treatment.  A printed report confirmed he was playing a game for 10 minutes and case closed. Every year a new batch of students test these rules, and sometimes I have to modify but that is like every part of teaching. Modify, revise, explain, reiterate.  But these basic rules seems to cover the big issues.    Have you found any other problems that I have overlooked?  I would love to hear about the rules in your classroom and the consequences if they are not followed. 
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