Thank you Jeff Nelson and Google for making Chrome happen. It is easy to get excited about the latest technology, but let’s hope this Chrome(book) thing is going to stick around. I wonder what motivated the tech-creators and did they foresee the potential educational use prior to launch or was its application in school settings a secondary benefit? It’s a bit of the chicken or egg question, right?
With that being said, Google Chrome and associated devices seem to be game-changers. Our students and teachers, particularly in the upper grades, cannot get enough of Google Classroom and related applications. There is ease and flexibility, which help to create affordability. We are a Google email school and are, for the most part, enjoying the experience.
I’m fairly agile integrating technology into my professional life having owned a Kaypro II and worked on mainframe systems in the 1980s. Dialing into the internet via Compuserve in 1986, I wrote 4GL database software for the transportation industry during my first career. I have used Apple and PC computers and operated for two years using only an iPad with Bluetooth keyboard. My goal is to be a School Head that keeps technology central to both his personal mission and the mission of our school.
The use of Google Chrome specifically and operating within the cloud are all actually throwbacks. In the 1980s, we may have had a PC to type documents or use Lotus (yes, I’m that old) for budgeting. Most of our work was done via a dumb terminal over telephone lines to the home office. Any content created or transactions completed were done without any actual data or extensive functionality on our local equipment.
Choosing technology platforms and their associated investments are important decisions for schools. The next best thing will come along and your brilliant decision today can be tomorrow’s boondoggle. My hope is that educational leaders don’t react to the trends, but are constantly refining their technology strategic plans. The process of examining your community’s needs, wants, and current capabilities is a critical step that cannot be delayed or avoided. One could argue that this has become equally important to schools as hiring teachers or choosing curriculum. Our school arrived at Google and Chrome after completing an extensive study. We are about to undertake another technology audit setting the strategy moving forward.
Thanks again Google for taking me back to the future and creating something that integrates with ease, allowing the purchase of more affordable hardware. While we all need to be careful about the cloud and security, we are very happy Chrome users for now. (Hint to Google – Keep making it better!)