OLOL Technology Update - Oct. 2015

OLOL Goes Google!

Google Drive in OLOL Classrooms & at Home

Students in grades 4-8 are using Google Drive to create, collaborate, and turn in assignments. Through the collaboration of classroom teachers and Ms. Moore, we have started this process with subject area assignments in the classroom and in technology class. Students are now able to create documents from any computer using any internet browser. Some teachers have started using Google Classroom as well, and during the next few weeks we will be adding more classes and students to this website.

Here are some important things to remember when working from home:

  • When you are using a Google Chrome browser look in the top right-hand corner for a sign-in area.

  • IMPORTANT REMINDER- when logging in you need to use your login name and the extension: @bethesda-lourdes.org. It is a gmail address, but gmail is turned off for our students at this time.

  • Student usernames and passwords were given to the students. Each student should find a location (an assignment book, bulletin board or desk at home, etc) to save this information so they are always able to access their Google Drive account.

  • Once you are signed in you need to find Google Drive in the app launcher.

  • When creating a document in Google Drive, please have the students follow the format for naming the document: Subject abbreviation/First Initial.Last Name/ Assignment Title. For ex: LA/S.Smith/Explorer Essay

  • When you are using a Chrome browser and you login for the first time, you will get a message about linking data. If you click “link data”, the browser will now be the same as what we use at school. Any bookmarks and user settings from school will be in place. This is useful and it provides a similar user experience for the students to what they have in the classroom.

  • In any other browser, one of the easiest things to do is type “Google Drive” in the address bar and then sign-in when Drive loads. https://www.google.com/drive/

Update from September 2015

New Chromebooks for the 2015-2016 School Year

Thanks to the generosity and support of our OLOL families, staff, and alumni, we were able to purchase 32 new Chromebooks for the 2015-2016 school year. We will continue to use our 32 Macbooks throughout the classrooms, and students in grades 3-8 will have a school Google account so that they can use a Chrome browser to keep all their cloud based documents, apps, and bookmarks easily accessible.

Google works very hard to provide educators with tools to seamlessly integrate technology into learning in meaningful and efficient ways. The best part is that Google does most of this FREE of charge! Our teachers and administrators have been using Google Apps for Education for several years now. We will be using the Google productivity apps such as docs, spreadsheets, slides, and Google classroom to create truly collaborative learning environments.

Much more information will be shared with families as we introduce and teach all these new technologies. Students will soon receive their school Google account information and middle school students will begin to receive and turn in assignments using Google drive at school and at home. Students in K -2 will use the Chromebooks in computer class and in their homerooms. They will not have a Google account, but will be able to get to work quickly without logins and passwords in a closely managed environment. In grades 3-5 we will introduce new technologies slowly and benefit from all the speed and security of the Chromebooks in daily learning. Students will learn to create documents and share them with their teacher.

What is a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is a laptop that runs the Chrome OS, a cloud-based operating system. The Chromebook utilizes cloud-based storage, web applications, and Google Apps for Education programs. Since Chromebooks operate using the Chrome OS they boot in seconds unlike computers running a Windows or Mac OS; this is beneficial for school settings because the decrease in wait time allows teachers and students to work more efficiently.

Our Lady of Lourdes has chosen the Asus 13.3 Inch Chromebook, model C300MA-DB01. This laptop runs the Chrome OS (operating system) and uses an Intel Celeron processor with a speed of 2.16 GHz. The Asus Chromebook has 2 GB Ram memory and a 16GB Hard Drive. The screen is 13.3 inches with a 1366 x 768 resolution for quality images and comfortable viewing. The chromebook also boasts integrated video graphics, webcam, a 2.0 USB port, a 3.0 USB port, a SD card reader, and headphone/mic combo jacks. The laptop has wireless 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, and a battery life of up to 10 hours. All of this is beautifully presented with a black matte exterior and weighs just around 3 pounds.

Benefits of Chromebooks & the Chrome Browser

(from Google: Chromebooks for Education)

  • Chromebooks for Education give students, teachers, and administrators a simple solution for fast, intuitive, and easy-to-manage computing. Chromebooks provide access to the web’s education and collaboration resources, as well as offer centralized management and low total cost of ownership. Using Chromebooks, teachers spend more time teaching and less time managing classroom technology, and schools can deploy more computers into the hands of their students and teachers.

  • At home in the classroom (and beyond) Chromebooks provide the teaching and learning benefits of computers without the typical distractions that come with technology in the classroom. They boot in 8 seconds and resume instantly – eliminating the time wasted while traditional computers start up and connect to a network. Long battery life means Chromebooks last an entire school day. And since it’s easy to connect a Chromebook anytime and anywhere with built-in Wi-Fi and optional 3G, students can continue learning after school and at home. Applications, school work, and settings are stored in the cloud, so multiple students can use the same Chromebook and still have their own personalized experience when they sign in. Best of all, there is no special training required: If you know how to use the web, you know how to use a Chromebook.

  • Easy to manage. With just a few clicks, administrators can change or update settings for their entire set of Chromebooks, ranging from pushing or removing web applications to enforcing managed browsing policies for all users. Seamless updates keep the operating system and applications fresh, so Chromebooks continue to improve and get faster over time, with no need for tedious backups, security patches, data migration, or re-imaging. Chromebooks are designed to protect against the ongoing threat of viruses and malware, so computers, users, and networks are safer without any manual system maintenance.

  • All the educational resources of the web Chromebooks are built and optimized for the web. This means that Chromebooks can seamlessly access the Google Apps suite of productivity and collaboration tools (which is free for schools), as well as apps available in the Chrome Web Store, the Google Apps Marketplace, and content across the entire web. Chromebooks run your favorite flash-based educational tools.

Here are some short introductory videos for your information:

Introducing the Chromebook
What is Google Chrome OS?
Google for Education 101 (in 101 seconds)
Chromebook - Security