Using Chromebooks and Understanding the Benefits of the 1:1 Environment
Your students have different learning styles. While one student may learn better from simply reading textbooks, another one might learn better from hands-on teaching. There are three basic parts of learning: receiving information, coding that information and recalling it a later time. When your students can master all of these processes, then you can rest assured that you’re providing them with an effective learning environment. You will always have students that lag behind the others, and this makes it even more important that you incorporate different types of teaching methods into the curricula that your students follow.
Using Technology in the Classroom
Years ago, technology was not used very often in the classrooms. Students read textbooks, took tests and that was about it. But as you can imagine, over the past decade, with technology advancing as much as it has, this has caused many schools to switch over to technology-based curricula. In fact, common forms of technology being used in classrooms include:
- Educational software
- Digital cameras
- FM systems for the hearing impaired
The question you should be asking yourself as a director of instruction is, “just how effective is technology-based learning, and what type tends to be the most valuable?”
First of all, it’s important to note that a universal testimony made by teachers who use technology in the classroom is that they notice “an increase in [student] motivation.” In fact, one teacher went so far as to say that “The kids that don’t necessarily star can become the stars [with technology.]” 
While some will argue about the best types of technology to use in the classroom, there is no denying the benefits gained from using Chromebooks.
Chromebooks provide the ultimate 1:1 environment. Gone are the days of having to take your students down the hall to a computer lab to carry out online research or type a Word document. When each student has his or her own Chromebook, they gain access to “an infinite number of online texts and interactive tools as well as a range of dynamic web based applications…” 
With Chromebooks, teachers are able to fully monitor what it is that their students are doing. For example, when students are instructed to type a poem using Google Drive, teachers can monitor their progress in real-time, and if a student is noticed not actively participating, the teacher can send a note that pops up on that student’s particular Chromebook screen which says something similar to “You Need to Get to Work or You Won’t Get This Assignment Finished In Time!”
Creating a 1:1 learning environment with Chromebooks also enables students to actively work on different skills simultaneously. For example, while students are completing a research assignment and typing an essay, they are:
- Learning how to effectively navigate the Internet
- Learning about the topic being researched
- Perfecting their typing skills
- Learning how to use web-based software programs
As you can imagine, Chromebooks in the classroom help you to create more well-rounded students. They are diverse in the skills that they acquire while using these laptops, and more importantly, they are better-prepared to enter into today’s working world after they graduate, and as we all know, today’s working world is very advanced in terms of technology.
The Take Away
The most important thing for you to understand as a director of instruction is that the world is moving toward individualized learning, and the 1:1 environment allows for this type of learning to take place. When you use Chromebooks in the classroom, the 1:1 environment is optimized to the max. You’ll quickly notice that your students become self-initiated learners, and this should be the overall goal that your school works toward. After all, when students want to learn, learning becomes more effective.
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