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Showing posts from January, 2012

A Shout Out to Mrs. Williams' 6th Period Psychology Class - My Google Chromebook Guinea Pigs!

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As I've mentioned before in this blog, we are seriously considering making the move to the new Google Chromebooks for our one-to-one program at our high school. Yesterday, I took one baby step in the process. I handed out 16 Chromebooks to a pre-selected class for them to "test drive" for the rest of this school year. I've affectionately labeled them my "Chromebook Guinea Pigs."

The class I selected is an upper level Psychology class. I picked them for several reasons. One, it's a small class (easy to manage). Second, they're very bright kids with great personality and a willingness to try new things. Third, Mrs. Williams is a fantastic teacher with tons of energy and creativity. And finally, they've used Google Docs for collaborative projects before.

Needless to say, they loved the new tool. Once logged in, they began making the machine their own by adding apps from the Chrome Web Store and modifying their themes. We explored GoogleDocs again …

Friday Freebie: I'm Loving Google Docs!

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Our high school currently has a one-to-one netbook program and it's going great. Teachers are able to create engaging lessons embedded with technology and students have ubiquitous access to technology all day long. Right now, we're using Dell 2100 Latitude netbooks running Windows 7, but are very seriously looking at moving to Google Chromebooks next year.

The Chromebooks work entirely on the new Chrome operating system, Chromium, All work is done in the cloud, most of which takes places within Google's own programs. And the flagship program is GoogleDocs. With GoogleDocs you create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and drawings.

When I first used these tools years ago, I found them rather simplistic and didn't think I would ever use them as a primary productivity tool. Well, since I've previewing the Chromebooks, I've been using GoogleDocs quite a bit and I'm loving it!

Today, I'll focus on creating documents. (I'll blog about their n…

ABC The Key - A Great FREE Online Reading Program!

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With budget cutbacks being what they are, free is always good. Educators are always looking for programs we can implement at our schools that don't cost much. I found just a such a program. It's ABC The Key. It's a web-based phonetic reading program for early primary grades with a multifaceted approach. Each lesson has video, handouts, games, and more. And like I said, it's all free.

We actually previewed the system earlier this year and, at the time, the system was a paid subscription service. It wasn't really that much, but budget being what it is, we decided to hold off. Well, I just received an e-mail from the company saying that it's completely free now. You still have to register as a user but there's no cost associated with the service.

Once you've created an account, you can select from two different reading levels, each introducing students to different letters of the alphabet or different sound blends. There are repeated characters throughou…