Thanks to ITF Libby Ferrell and SLMC Candy Pierce for this awesome blog post and collaboration!
"It’s important that we don’t underestimate the ability of our students- no matter how young they may be. With the right mindset, tools, and preparation ALL students (and teachers) can be successful with technology." -
Chromebook Activity Goal: To ensure that all students in all grade levels at Northwest Elementary are able to login and utilize the Chromebooks to become success digital learners.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to Kindergarteners learning their Google login information for the Chromebooks. I was so excited to work with Kindergarten students on the Chromebooks for the first time! I have worked with all grade levels (2-5) on introductory Chromebook activities but this would be the first time I would work with Kindergarten students. Even I thought at first that this process maybe a painful one, but luckily Candy had laid a great foundation for the students before I came to help with the login process.
Before the google domain populated the Chromebook login screen most K-2 teachers felt that their students would not be able to utilize these new devices due to the lengthy login information. Fortunately this year our tech department has worked to make the login process easier for younger students by allowing the google domain (@students.davidson.k12.nc.us) to populate on the login screen. With that said, the login process is much easier for our younger students, but still not technically “easy” at first.
Students lack in basic keyboarding skills at this age range and in Kindergarten, some don’t even know all of their letters yet. Not to mention the fact that Chromebooks don’t have a “caps lock” button, and students must learn to use the shift key to make capital letters for their unique passwords. Candy had worked with these classes on several occasions during her media time before I helped facilitate the Chromebook Activity.
As soon as the students sat at their tables and received instruction to open their Chromebooks, it was immediately apparent that students had learned how to properly use these tools. Though they still needed to search for certain letters, students were engaged and motivated to get logged in. There was a lot of excitement and a sense of accomplishment that the students felt when they saw their “profile picture” after successfully logging in. Seeing Kindergarten students take initiative and help their peers to achieve success was a wonderful piece to the puzzle.
I am so impressed with the work Candy has done with these students. I hope that the teachers and administration at Northwest recognize the value of these skills that Candy is helping to instill within the students at her school. By providing this support to her students, she is able to help support her teachers in efficiently using digital tools in their own classroom.
Outline of Chromebook Activity:
Step 1: Students practice their login.
Note: Some students quickly learn how to login and others need more help. Students need a lot of verbal instruction and visuals for making this possible. Candy used her Document Camera to project the Chromebook Keyboard and other steps for students to follow- this process was very structured so that students know exactly what to do. She utilized her Promethean Board and the Desktop Annotate tool to circle important keys (Shift) and to also use it to outline specific steps students needed to follow.
Step 2: Proper Care
Note: To make this process as successful as possible, try to avoid having students carrying the Chromebooks and moving tables. The Chromebooks were placed on the tables and set up for students as soon as they entered.
Step 3: Learning how to access the Internet
Note: Having the ability to save preferences, bookmarks, and apps in Chrome is essential for Chromebook use. We suggest creating bookmarks for your Kindergarten students and showing them how they can quickly access different websites with bookmarks.
(Ex. Type the letters/numbers highlighted in blue where it asks for the username.)
One Kindergarten teacher took her class into the computer lab to practice making capital letters with shift key by having them type their first and last name.
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