Chromebooks, Chromebooks and More Chromebooks!

I go to bed thinking about Chromebooks. I wake up thinking about Chromebooks. I go to work and deal with Chromebooks. Chromebooks have become my life lately! And I love the Chromebook, don't get me wrong. I just didn't realize they would be all consuming as we have gone 1:1 with Chromebooks.

This week I finally had time to breath and work on things not directly related to our 1:1 rollout. But I have worked on a few Chromebook issues this week that I thought I would share.

This first one actually happened last week but I didn't share it in my post. We offer both French and Spanish. These teachers obviously want their students to use the correct accent marks when using Docs, Slides, etc. So I was tasked with figuring out the best way to do this. I came across these sites and to use as a temporary solution. And for first year students, that might be all they need. The other options you have are to enable foreign keyboards on the Chromebook. But if students aren't familiar with foreign keyboard layouts, that is not going to be a good solution. So I finally came across this site that used the US international keyboard to create Spanish accent marks. And this site showed how to create French accent marks using the international keyboard. Creating a screencast of how to add the US international keyboard was a challenge as our Chromebooks are not powerful enough to create a good screencast. So I ended up taking screenshots and using Explain Everything (yep, the iOS app) to create this video to show students how to add the US international keyboard.

This week the band director came in and needed a way for students to use the Chromebook to record themselves playing their instruments. I had first pointed him to WeVideo. However, the free version of WeVideo only allows for a two minute record time. Most of the pieces the students needed to play last longer than two minutes. So we needed to find a better way to do this. I discovered this morning that you can use YouTube to record from your webcam. You just need a YouTube channel. Go to Upload and select Webcam Capture. Easy peasy! Here are the instructions for webcam recording in YouTube.

Google Classroom continues to be a big hit with my teachers. It is so simple and easy to use and saves so many steps. Even teachers who have been hesitant to get into document sharing with students have embraced Google Classroom for its ease of use. If you haven't seen Google Classroom yet, check out this webinar by my friends Lisa Pospishil and Corey Dahl for an overview.

Finally, today we are having our first Chromebook Health Check. Teachers will be physically examining the devices for any damage. Students who have damaged Chromebooks will report to the library and the library will assess the damage and determine what to do next. We hope to do this periodically to keep our Chromebooks nice and healthy!