In Rowntree’s continuing efforts to meet and exceed the demand for technology in the classroom, the introduction of “Chromebooks” has been an exciting new inclusion and development for both staff and students. A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. Resources such as these allow the students to be interactive and explore new ways of learning. Furthermore, with the introduction of “Google Classroom”, students have the ability to begin their assignments in the classroom and continue their work at home. This gives students ample opportunity to work at their own pace and finish incomplete class work on-line at home.
Google Classroom is a dynamic tool for assessment according to “Growing Success” expectations, as it facilitates the tracking of students’ progress, commenting and highlighting required corrections, accessing work from anywhere at any time and offering students the assistance they require. This type of access to an online classroom is very beneficial for both students and teachers. With the use of Google Classroom, students and parents can remain more up to date with the learning that is taking place within the classroom. It also minimizes the need to keep track of numerous sheets of paper!
These “Chromebooks” also allow for more student inquiry to take place. There is a newfound ability for students to partake in educational games throughout the school day. Although pencil and paper work is extremely important, this new digital age entices children to be more interactive and hands on with their learning. They also have the ability to self regulate what they are doing and how they are doing it. If a recommended game is too difficult, each student can adjust the difficulty to something that is more suitable for their learning because they are all logged into his/hers individual Google account. Rather than students struggling with textbook work and becoming frustrated with the work, they can simply change the level in which the questions are posed to them. This method of differentiation has the power to strengthen student classroom rapport, as well as build their self-confidence in subjects in which they may be struggling. Opportunities for self and peer assessment also abound with the connected nature of the Google Classroom.
With Rowntree Montessori Schools being at the forefront of this digital age, the inclusion of classroom “Chromebooks” is yet another step forward in our commitment to ensuring that students are growing and developing into confident, effective, self directed learners who are in step with the technology of the 21st century!