Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sleepless with my Chromebook

About two months ago I ordered a Chromebook. It was mostly because many schools around the nation are making this choice including the district my kids are attending. While I had a sense of what Chromebooks are, the personal experience is always best.

I have used the Chromebook multiple times but never extensively. This (very early) morning I needed to grade assignments online and I found myself with only the Chromebook. For the first time I sat at it for an extended amount of time doing my daily work.

It worked just fine. It was a tad slow at times (with heavier graphics) but nothing that was significant enough to consider waking my family to get my mac book pro. It's a very functional machine.

In my discussions with educators and administrators they often mention they like the fact that it is a no nonsense machine. You can do basic work on it, nothing fancy but it works, connects you to the web, lets you do stuff. Students they reason will view it as a learning machine, not a toy. The iPad, on the other hand, is viewed as a toy. We hear the same thing from parents and teachers in multiple countries. That is something I hear fairly often. There is work, then there is play, confusing the two create problems and students will stop learning. Basically, for students to learn we need to remove joy.

Do we really think kids are having too much joy in school that we need to remove it?
Do we really think play is not part of learning?
Do we think that the features that make tablets attractive (not just iPads) portability, creativity, and interface interfere with learning or maybe they actually help?
Do we really think that the dichotomy of work and play is still relevant? Is it in your life?

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