Teacher Resources and FAQs


                 

Chromebooks for Beginners











Source:Google.chromebooks.com
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Table of Contents


BPS Tech Plan 






Chromebooks Offline






Contents

  1. 1 BPS Tech Plan 
  2. 2 Chromebook How-to Tutorials
    1. 2.1 Chromebooks Offline
    2. 2.2 Bethel Public School (BPS) Chromebook FAQ
  3. 3 Why Chromebooks?
  4. 4 What is Google Apps for Education (GAFE) UPDATE: GAFE is now GSuite.
    1. 4.1 What is Google Classroom?
  5. 5 What about Privacy?
    1. 5.1 What are administrative and teacher expectations for using Chromebooks?
  6. 6 SUPPORTS
    1. 6.1 What is Go Guardian?
    2. 6.2 Can the district track web history?
    3. 6.3 What happens if students have been visiting inappropriate websites?
  7. 7 DEVICES
    1. 7.1 How is one student’s Chromebook identified from another student?
    2. 7.2 Will the Chromebooks ever leave the building?
    3. 7.3 My student forgot to charge their Chromebook before school. Now what?
    4. 7.4 Cases
    5. 7.5 Where can you get an Internet connection if the building’s wireless connection is not working?
    6. 7.6 What login will students use to get into the device operating system?
    7. 7.7 Can the Chromebooks be used with another username?
    8. 7.8 What happens if the device is damaged or lost?
    9. 7.9 Can you print from the devices?
    10. 7.10 Projection
    11. 7.11 What devices can be connected to a Chromebook?
    12. 7.12 What if another student damages a student’s device?
    13. 7.13 How would you go about repairing a Chromebook that is not functioning?
    14. 7.14 How much storage do students have?
    15. 7.15 What kind of applications are on the devices
    16. 7.16 Can students download apps?
    17. 7.17 Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?Yes, we have filters on GoGuardian and IBoss as IT maintains a whitelist of sites. We currently restrict which apps and extensions can run on Chromebooks to minimize distraction issues, unstable extensions, and the many network proxy apps available on Chrome. Basically IT can whitelist apps and deny all others. Teachers can make requests to IT to open or restrict  apps and extension
    18. 7.18 How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?
    19. 7.19 What if a student is out of school for an extended period (illness, travel, family emergency, etc.)?
    20. 7.20 Will class lessons ever be recorded so students can review material?
    21. 7.21 Will devices be kept by students over summer?
    22. 7.22 How long should Chromebooks last?
    23. 7.23 Are other districts doing this?
    24. 7.24 How can you prevent student copying and/or plagiarism?
    25. 7.25 Can a child opt out of having a Chromebook?
    26. 7.26 What about computer viruses getting onto the Chromebook?
    27. 7.27 What happens to the teacher Mac laptop computer now that students are getting a Chromebook?
    28. 7.28 What are the shortcomings/weaknesses of Chromebooks?



BPS logo small.jpg

Bethel Public School (BPS) Chromebook FAQ


This is an adaptive document and revisions are made as new information becomes available.

Why Chromebooks?

Here are a few of the reasons we chose Chromebooks for our 1:1 initiative:
Bethel School District uses Google Apps for Education (GAFE). The integration of Chromebooks and Google Apps makes for a seamless transition to student resources.
It is a low cost, instructional device that fits student and staff educational and productivity needs.
Chromebooks provide teaching and learning benefits of computers without the typical distractions that come with technology in the classroom. Each Chromebook is managed by the district and we restrict access to non-education sites and apps using 3rd party software from GoGuardian.
They boot in seven seconds and resume instantly—eliminating time wasted with traditional computer startup and network connection.
Long battery life (8-9 hours) means Chromebooks last an entire school day. It’s easy to connect a Chromebook anytime and anywhere with built-in Wi-Fi. Applications, school work, and settings are stored in the cloud and are available anywhere the student has Internet access.
There is no special training required: If you know how to use the Web, you know how to use a Chromebook. Users may have to familiarize with key strokes as shortcuts.
Chromebooks can seamlessly access the Google Apps suite, as well as hundreds of other apps available in the Chrome Web Store.
Creates a “level playing field.”  All kids have the same device, eliminating the “haves and have nots. And teachers don’t have to troubleshoot multiple devices in classroom.


What is Google Apps for Education (GAFE) UPDATE: GAFE is now GSuite.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a core suite of productivity applications that Google offers to schools and educational institutions for free. Students and teachers can open and edit their documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. quickly and collaborate with one another or their teachers within this secure online environment.  With GAFE, students no longer have to worry about saving files, storing files on a USB key, attaching and sending files by email.  Anytime, anywhere access with GAFE provides users the ability to be productive at school, home, or even on their mobile devices. Because GAFE runs in a web browser, students can work from almost any family computer without having to purchase new software. Students and teachers can easily upload files from their home computer and share with any BPS GAFE account holder on PC or Mac machines.  GAFE also supports popular formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. Files stored on Google Drive are always accessible and backed-up online. GAFE's commenting feature is ideal for teacher and collaborator's feedback on documents and/or presentations. Revision history allows users to review document edits over time.

Why GAFE

  • Google Apps is a suite of web­-based collaboration applications that Google hosts on their own servers. Google provides these applications as a "service," rather than as software you have to download and install. To access these applications, you simply use a web browser on any computer that is connected to the Internet.

  • GAFE is free dynamic set of tools and services.with no ads.

  • Bethel Gmail accounts create a virtual ‘bubble’ that restricts outside email coming in.

  • We can make customizable GAFE calendar for Bethel Gmail accounts only.

  • Access to services from anywhere, at anytime​— A key benefit of the Google­ hosted solution is that we can access files, email, contacts, and calendar from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, from anywhere in the world.

  • Real Time collaboration —​Using Google Drive, students and teachers can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and more, that students and teachers can view and edit at the same time. Students will be able to easily collaborate with other students on assignments and projects using Google Docs, Presentation, and Sheets (fundamentally similar to Microsoft Office). ​We can still use Microsoft Office ​products as needed, but now we will have more options for storing and collaborating on documents.

  • Easy ­to­ build web sites​— With Google Sites, teachers have the ability to quickly publish a robust internal web site on which to gather all sorts of shared information, such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, files, and videos.

  • Safe and Secure​— Google Apps for Education provides a safe and secure online environment by respecting and ensuring the privacy of students. Google Apps for Education does not sell information to third parties. Please see this site for more details, h​ttps://www.google.com/edu/trust/​.​ Also for more information, you can view Google’s Apps for Education suite click HERE.


What is Google Classroom?

Google Classroom is a Google app that currently offers teachers opportunities to make announcements and assignments to students that are members of the classroom. Each of these tools have specific functions built into them. There is also a connection to a Google calendar and guardian email. Classroom's strongest attribute is its ability to create and manage folders and files in Google drive.

What about Privacy?

Bethel Public Schools (BPS) is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information.  BPS has contracted with Google to provide access to Google Apps for Education to its users (students and staff) in a closed and secure environment that is not accessible by anyone outside of BPS. Google Apps is governed by detailed privacy policy and security measures which BPS IT has reviewed and is satisfied they appropriately protect the privacy of its users of these tools.  Under our Terms of Service Agreement with Google, like BPS, they are obligated to comply with FERPA regulations.  Additional information about GAFE security & privacy may be found here.

What are administrative and teacher expectations for using Chromebooks?

We are obligated by our Bethel Strategic Plan to build 21st century learning environments for all students to experience learning Global Competencies and college and career readiness. These are best accomplished in blended learning environments and therefore the expectation is that teachers provide all students learning opportunities in a mixed environment that uses appropriate pedagogy and resources. Digital tools and resources enhance the probability of these experiences.

SUPPORTS

What is Go Guardian?

Even after class, students still need access to the best learning tools for their education. With GoGuardian, Bethel’s Chromebooks don't have to remain locked up on campus. Using Google's Admin Console and Chrome OS, GoGuardian is able to offer its complete Chromebook filtering and monitoring software wherever the device may be. Students have to use the Chrome Google apps log on and GoGuardian filtering and monitoring keeps records of everything students do in their Chrome account. GoGuardian

Can the district track web history?

Yes. Using GoGuardian, the district can track information on what sites students were on, when they were on them, and how long they were on those sites. Students should only visit sites that are approved by the district and those that are not in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. Violations of the policy can result in disciplinary action, including the student being suspended from using the school network and device use.

What happens if students have been visiting inappropriate websites?


Administrators monitor Go Guardian reports and will investigate inappropriate use and apply consequences as outlined in the Bethel Parent-Student handbook. Repeated offenses have tiered consequences.

DEVICES


How is one student’s Chromebook identified from another student?


All the Chromebooks are the same, so they look very much alike. However, each Chromebook will be tagged with a sticker with the student’s initials and student ID number on it. Additionally, district asset tags with bar codes will be on each device and each device has a serial number. The district keeps all that data, so if a Chromebook is misplaced, we can determine who it is assigned to get it back to the student user. Any ID stickers that are on the Chromebook when issued must stay on the Chromebook. No additional permanent markings of any kind (stickers, engraving, permanent ink pen, tape, etc.) shall be placed on the Chromebook or it’s carrying case at any time. While the devices are issued to students, they are still district-owned property. Additional permanent markings on the device or its case will be considered vandalism. Students can add non-permanent identifying items to the case such as ribbon, key chains or other removable items. We are looking into costs to customize cases with Bethel logos.


Will the Chromebooks ever leave the building?


Middle school and high school students (grades 8-12) will be allowed to take the Chromebooks home for school-related use. Devices for elementary K- 3 are predominantly iPads while grades 4-5 are a mix of iPads and Chromebooks all kept at school.

My student forgot to charge their Chromebook before school. Now what?

Middle school and high school students are expected to charge their Chromebooks nightly at home and bring them to school fully charged. If one is available, students who do not bring a charged Chromebook back to school may be issued a loaner device for the day, which cannot be taken home. Loaners however are few and may not be available and your student may be without the Chromebook for the day. They may be able to charge the Chromebook in the charging stations during lunch or a study hall.

Cases

The student government helped select a case from an array of samples. Their choice represents the student body decision as well as expectation to keep Chromebooks in their cases at all times. Chromebooks screens are fairly sensitive and need to stay in the protective case.

Where can you get an Internet connection if the building’s wireless connection is not working?

The devices will only connect to the web wirelessly. If the district’s WiFi network is down during school, the Chromebooks will not have connectivity to the web. However, some features, such as access to the student’s Google Drive, will still work on a limited basis. The work that is done off-line will not be backed up until a wireless Internet connection is restored.

Here is a complete list of offline capabilities https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3214688?hl=en


What login will students use to get into the device operating system?

Regardless of locations, students will each have an email address that is their primary login and username. Students can change their password, but they cannot change their username. The district cannot recover passwords and students should remember them to ensure successful logins. This is a Chrome logon.

Can the Chromebooks be used with another username?

No. Students and staff cannot access a district-owned Chromebook with any other login other than their district-assigned email. For example, students will not be able log using their personal Gmail account on a district-provided Chromebook. However, if a student logs into another device with their school GAFE username (a PC laptop, a school lab computer, a loaner Chromebook, etc.) all of their information (bookmarks, emails, documents, presentations, applications, etc.) will be available to them on that device when using a Chrome browser. Data can also be saved to a USB drive and transported between devices.


What happens if the device is damaged or lost?


Students and parents will be responsible for district-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other district-owned items such as textbooks, calculators, cameras, athletics equipment or library books. The district will repair or replace the device, but students and parents will be responsible for the cost of those repairs or replaced devices as outlined in the Bethel Blended Learning Agreement.

However, the liability on families/students can reduced significantly by taking part in the Bethel Chromebook Care Program. For $25 (non-refundable) per year, per device, the Bethel Chromebook Care program will repair or replace the device at a significant savings to the student and his/her family.

Choosing to enroll in the Chromebook Care program is optional. Stop by your school’s main office to determine the program’s enrollment deadline and see if you are eligible to still join the program. Enrollment in the program is an option when signing the Chromebook Policy form.


Can you print from the devices?


Digital online file sharing between staff and students is one of the great advantages of the Chromebooks and is an easy and efficient way to distribute and turn in assignments without printing in Google Drive, Google Classroom and or Gmail. It also saves on paper, ink and toner use, thereby saving the district money. There are ways to print from the Chromebooks, but it’s not encouraged or particularly easy as IT has to configure Google Cloud Print Services. we are encouraging staff to try and limit printing and experience digital assignments, note taking, and feedback.


Projection


The teacher, using their Apple MacBook Pro,  can project using Apple TV, an HDMI cable to TV, or VGA cable to projector. Student Chromebooks, at this time, can project through an HDMI cable adapter directly to the TV or the projector as Chromebooks do not use Apple TV. There is a Google Cast Chrome extension that will allow students to broadcast their screen to the class projector. This technology is quickly evolving for Chromebooks.

What devices can be connected to a Chromebook?

A Chromebook can connect to:
USB storage devices, mice and keyboards
SIM cards
SD cards
External monitors and projectors (via HDMI)
Headphones, earbuds, microphones


What if another student damages a student’s device?


In such cases, circumstances will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. School administration and the School Resource Officer may be involved if it is suspected to an intentional act or act of vandalism.


How would you go about repairing a Chromebook that is not functioning?


Damaged or non-functioning devices should be turned in to the student’s library (middle school and high school) or teacher (elementary schools) so a repair can be logged. District technology staff members can repair many problems in-house, which may take a day or two. Other problems may require the devices being sent out for repair, which can take a several days or perhaps longer.

Students who are without their device due to repairs will be issued a loaner through to use during school only. Loaner devices must be returned to the library at the end of the school day.

How much storage do students have?

Students using Chromebooks will have 16 gigabytes (about 16,000 megabytes) of storage on the machine, plus another 30 gigabytes of online “cloud” storage that is attached to their email and accessible via the Google Drive application. This should be more than enough space for class work each year. Students are encouraged to use a USB thumb-drive as backup storage as well.

What kind of applications are on the devices

There are thousands of apps available for Chromebooks covering a wide variety of topics. The apps, which run in the Chrome browser, are downloadable through the Chrome Web Store.

Can students download apps?

No. Student access to the web store is limited and there is no hard drive on the Chromebook.

Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?

Yes, we have filters on GoGuardian and IBoss as IT maintains a whitelist of sites. We currently restrict which apps and extensions can run on Chromebooks to minimize distraction issues, unstable extensions, and the many network proxy apps available on Chrome. Basically IT can whitelist apps and deny all others. Teachers can make requests to IT to open or restrict  apps and extension

How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?


Google Drive and Google Classroom have features built into it that allow work to be “shared” between teachers and even classmates. Students can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, photos, presentations and videos. Each item can be “shared” with a teacher prior to its due date. The teacher can then see the work on his or her own computer to provide feedback or grade it for the student. Students can make revisions and teachers can follow changes using the revision history feature.


How do teachers use Google Classroom and/or Google Sites?

Google Classroom is a way to manage Google Drive. It is simple and easy to use and Google is adding new features such as the calendar, polling, quizzes, and assignments with no due dates. Think of it as a closed environment for you, other staff, and your students.
Google Sites is a web site builder for your classroom. It can be shared to the public i.e. parents and have announcements files, videos, and many other features.
A great explanation is here - http://www.teachercast.net/2016/01/23/the-great-edtech-debate-google-sites-vs-google-classroom-vs-blogger/


What if a student is out of school for an extended period (illness, travel, family emergency, etc.)?


With the devices, it will become even easier for students to receive work from their teacher. Assignments, readings, and other resources can be placed online and shared with the student who is absent. The student can do the work online from home and share it back with the teacher. Communicate with the parents and make arrangements.


Will class lessons ever be recorded so students can review material?


Possibly. Some teachers are looking at different applications to video/audio record specific course lessons and make them available via the web. This would allow students to view recorded lessons and access related materials (handouts, presentations, etc.) online for review or for students who are out of school to not miss a thing.  Teachers interested in ‘flipping’ classrooms can make class videos of lectures and presentations and distribute through Google Classroom as homework assignments.


Will devices be kept by students over summer?


No. Devices will be turned in at the end of the school year so the district can do maintenance on them. Devices will be re-issued at the start of the school year to continuing students. Devices issued to students who leave the district (move, graduate, etc.) will be reformatted and re-issued to other students on an as-needed basis.


How long should Chromebooks last?


Chromebooks have very few moving parts in them and generate very little heat. Therefore the life expectancy — so long as they are treated appropriately — is fairly significant. Four years or more is not unrealistic. Additionally, the devices have powerful processors, adequate memory, and automatically update the latest software and security features without anything needing to be done by the student.


Are other districts doing this?


Yes. We’ve been in contact with other districts around the state that have done one-to-one technology rollouts for students, including using Chromebook devices. Before our Chromebook launch, we’ve sought advice on how to move forward from other one-to-one districts, learning from them what’s worked well and how to avoid certain problems and consulted educational advisors with our vendor at CDW-G.

Explore the many online resources about one-to-one programs in K-12 schools and we are using tips and advice from those sources, as well.


How can you prevent student copying and/or plagiarism?

There are ways within the software systems we have to check and see if work is copied between students. Bethel uses Turnitin.com. There are other free online plagiarism checkers available as well.


Can parents use the Chromebooks?

When a student is logged into the Chromebook, parents can use them to check on student work, view their browsing history or connect with teachers through our PowerSchool parent portal or via the student’s email. The Chromebooks are not intended for personal use for the student, other family members, or their parents.

Can a child opt out of having a Chromebook?

Yes. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive at the Bethel School District and we want them to take advantage of the powerful learning resources available with it. Senior students however can elect to go with a bring your own device (BYOD) option. We advise against BYOD for younger grades as they can’t do standardized testing on personal machines.

What about computer viruses getting onto the Chromebook?

Since the applications run through the browser and online, there is little worry about having viruses infect the Chromebook’s software or hardware.

What happens to the teacher Mac laptop computer now that students are getting a Chromebook?

You will keep your Mac laptop computer, and we will continue to support them. The hope is that you will use a Chromebook with ever increasing frequency so that you will be well-versed with the Google Apps platform and other web based apps - and better understand students’ end user experience with Chromebooks.

What are the shortcomings/weaknesses of Chromebooks?

The Chromebook is a simple and easy to use device, but it is not without its shortcomings. Here are a list of them and what you can address them.
Minimal storage space: Chromebooks have roughly 16GB of storage locally and 30GB online. This should suffice for regular use cases, but do not expect to store your entire music collection, photos, and full length movies on there. You can upload videos to YouTube through your district Google user account. You can also store videos offline on media like a flash drive or external hard drive.
Lack of powerful desktop applications (programs): Chromebooks do not have powerful desktop applications, such as Photoshop, Premiere/Final Cut Studio, GarageBand, or even iTunes. However, there are free, lower powered substitutes such as Pixlr, Youtube, and Google Music for those aforementioned apps. It will be important to explore, understand, and share these alternatives with students. You can find apps at Google's Chrome App Store by selecting the Store app on your Chromebook.
Printing at school/home: Printing from Chromebooks requires Google Cloud Print setup. The district is does not have this enabled at this time. Note: Document sharing through Google Docs/Drive can reduce the need for printing. This is the case for administration, teachers, and students.
Any further questions can be referred to Dr. Vose at vosem@bethel.k12.ct.us


























Subpages (1): BPS Technology Plan