1:1 Device Implementation in My Classroom: What I learned The Hard Way

Going 1:1 Next Year? 5 TIPS FOR THE 1:1 Device Classroom


5 tips for 1:1 device classrooms

The 5 Most Important Lessons I Learned After 1:1 Device
Implementation in My Classroom
So your classroom is going 1:1 with Chromebooks or another device next school year?
Awesome! Congratulations! It will transform your teaching and the experience your students
have with learning. I have had a 1:1 Chromebook classroom for two years now.
When I think about when I first got them I realize that I didn’t have a clue about how to
manage 32 Chromebooks. I made a lot of mistakes and have learned some important lessons
through trial & error.


If I were going 1:1 today, these are the most important things I’d want someone to tell
me.
Lucky for you, I’m passing these tips and TWO freebies on to my subscribers. The tips are in the
post below. To receive the two freebies, find the three lines at the top to open the side panel.
Scroll down to the “sign up by email” box and enter your information. I don’t share your information
and you can unsubscribe at any time.


NOTE: This is for individual classrooms that are going 1:1 with Chromebooks or other devices.
If your classroom has its own set of Chromebooks for students to use during your class and
you are responsible for managing a set of Chromebooks, then this article is meant for you.
5 Tips for 1:1 Classrooms
The 5 Most Important Lessons I Learned After 1:1 Device
Implementation in My Classroom



1.    CHOOSE A NAMING CONVENTION TO IDENTIFY EACH CHROMEBOOK
If you are 1:1 with Chromebooks, then you’ve got a big responsibility on your shoulders.
Anywhere from 20-35 is the average class size at the middle school level. How can you
keep track of that many Chromebooks each day?


It is challenging but establishing a naming convention for all your devices will help. Naming
conventions are either a letter or number or some other way of accounting for and labeling
each Chromebook. For example, my classroom devices are labeled with numbers.


Yep. It’s that easy. I simply numbered each Chromebook. I used file folder labels cut into
squares and placed this on each Chromebook with some clear packing tape so it is easily
identified at any given time and the tape really gets it to stay on. Mine have been on for two
years now and I have yet to replace even one of them.


            Now you might be wondering why you need to label your Chromebooks because I’m sure
your district or school has attached their own identifying sticker or label on each one. If you want to
use those labels as your identification for your devices, there’s nothing wrong with that and it will
work fine. In my experience, district and school labels usually include a very looooong number or
code they use with a scanner device. It’s just not practical for daily management and if there’s
anything we as teachers do not need it’s something that’s not practical in our classrooms. We have
enough of that stuff, right?! So, get started on a naming/labeling convention system for your set of
Chromebooks and those devices labeled.




2.    FOLLOW THE “FIRST OUT/LAST IN” IF YOU HAVE A STORAGE CABINET OR CHARGE STATION
When I first received my classroom set of Chromebooks, I vowed that students would return
them to the storage/charging cabinet at the end of each class. I wasn’t going to risk having
those precious devices out during class change. Needless to say, this was such a time waster
and disruption for my already short classes. We struggled to have enough time and we couldn’t
afford to lose any more.


I realized that the best procedure here would be for the first class of the day to get Chromebook
s out of the charge cabinet and then the devices would then stay at each desk throughout the
day and for each of my other classes. This means that students would have to use the wire
baskets underneath their desks to stow the Chromebooks while they weren’t being used. Each
class of students could then easily and quickly retrieve and return the Chromebook at each
desk without any disruption or wasted time. The Chromebooks are not placed back in the
storage/charging cabinet until it was the end of the last class of the day. Hence, FIRST
OUT/LAST IN – the first class of the day gets the Chromebooks out of cabinet and the last
class of the day puts them back in.


It took some time for me to get used to seeing students simply put Chromebooks underneath
their desks rather than the safety of the charging cabinet. However, once I was clear about the
procedure and expectations for them, it worked perfectly. If you are wasting class time returning
and retrieving Chromebooks, please stop!! Try the FIRST OUT/LAST IN procedure with your
students. Like any other procedure, teach, model, and allow students to practice this routine.
It’s worth the extra time now rather than wasting class time later.


3.    ASSIGN CHROMEBOOKS TO SEATS OR DESKS RATHER THAN STUDENT NAMES
Many things in life are learned by hindsight. It’s a mistake we’ve made that so clearly shows
us how or what we should have done. Like the tip before this one, I learned this one the hard
way. I’m so glad you are reading this article so you don’t have to make all these mistakes!
Anyway, When I first went 1:1 with Chromebooks in my classroom, I thought assigning a
numbered device to each student was a great idea. This would allow me to know at any
given class or time, who was on a specific Chromebook. Wrong. My thought here was good
but when it came to how this worked, well, it didn’t. Here’s why.


If a Chromebook is assigned to a specific student, then he or she may need to switch the
Chromebook out at their desk between any given class. Also, if you change any students’
assigned seat, then they will either have to take the Chromebook with them or you need to
change their Chromebook number. I’m not sure about how often you change seating
assignments, but at the middle school level it’s OFTEN. So this system was a constant
management issue and problem for me. Again, something I do not need as a teacher.
Either situation described above results in this system creating havoc with who had what
device or I was constantly dealing with students saying they had the wrong Chromebook.
It was a disaster.


Here’s what I did instead.


Go ahead and do your awesome seating charts. Then assign Chromebook numbers
(You already did that in #1, right?) to each seat. Chromebooks are now assigned by seats,
not students. It’s not perfect, but it’s a breeze to manage compared to Chromebooks being
assigned to students. Once I made this change, many problems and issues I was dealing
with in my 1:1 classroom disappeared!


If you change a student’s seating assignment, then the only thing you need to change is the
seating chart. The student is responsible for noticing what his or her new device number is
now. Unless it’s a student in your first or last class of the day, it really does not matter to the
student what device they have anyway. But it does allow you a way to know at any given
moment in your classroom which Chromebook each student was using based on your seating
chart.


How do I keep track of that? On a Google Sheet of course.


FREEBIE ALERT!!! Sign up and you’ll receive An email with links to copy two templates that
I use to manage my room of Chromebooks: a seating assignment device template sheet & a
copy of my Chromebook Contract that I use every year. By signing up you’ll also receive
notifications of new articles and any new FREEBIES I’ve posted! On my templates, if you
aren’t using numbers for your naming convention, then you’ll have to edit this sheet to reflect
yours. The color of each column is based on each class color for the year. That’s just another
convention that I use to help me quickly distinguish between classes. Another post is coming
about that procedure soon!!! Till then, see it as one of my Teacher Tips of the Day.


For now, you have the very best procedure I’ve found for assigning Chromebooks. Remember,
assign Chromebooks to seats/desks rather than students. You’ll save yourself and your
students many headaches this year.


4.    ALLOW SELECTED STUDENTS TO PERFORM CHROMEBOOK CHECKS
I’ve never really used a system of classroom jobs for students. I see it mainly utilized in
elementary classrooms and by the time the kiddos get to me in 8th grade, I doubt it’s much
of a motivator. However, I now can say that I made student helpers part of my procedures
for Chromebook management.


If you’ve read the previous three tips for Chromebook management then you can probably
guess where the student helpers come into use. I use specific students who have earned
the privilege of helping monitor the Chromebooks. What are they watching for? Anything
that is irresponsible or behavior that violates our Chromebook Contract expectations and
procedures. We’ll get to that in the next tip.


Student helpers are invaluable and believe me, they absolutely take it seriously. I couldn’t
ask for better monitoring than 8th graders just waiting to bust one of their classmates for
carrying a Chromebook with one hand by the screen.


While they are responsible for helping monitor device use while they are in my room, the
student helpers in my last class of the day is particularly important. This is the class that
returns all Chromebook to the charging and storage cabinet. I have three student helpers
identified in this last class of the day. This is important because if one of them is absent, I
have another two students that can step in and take over supervision of returning the devices
to the cabinet.


My last class student helper stands by the cabinet and calls out which rows can bring their
devices back to the cabinet. He or She oversees this to make sure all Chromebooks are
returned to the correct numbered slot in the cabinet and that they charge cord is plugged in
correctly. Once all devices are in the cabinet, I go to the cabinet and simply do a daily final
count to make sure all are accounted for and inside the cabinet to charge for tomorrow. I then
lock the cabinet and we’re done with device return procedure.


It’s as simple as that. Once you teach, model, and practice with students, this routine
becomes second nature to them. It is the best procedure I’ve found that if efficient and
simple and works every time. I will never again dismiss the value of student jobs and
helpers in the classroom.




5.    ESTABLISH CLEAR ROUTINES, POLICIES, & CONSEQUENCES FOR USING CHROMEBOOKS


The final tip I have to offer when it comes to managing a room full of Chromebooks is to
establish clear routines, policies, and consequences. We do this all the time as teachers.
Sometimes we forget to do it for the management side of things in our classrooms though.
It’s so important to take the time to teach, model, & practice the procedures we expect and
want students to follow.


We can’t assume students come to us knowing what is responsible or not or exactly how to
carry a device. For some of them, this may be the first time they’ve had a device in their hands.
Whatever routines & procedures you establish in your classroom when it comes to devices,
make sure you’ve covered this with your students as well as given them time to see modeling
and then practice it for themselves.


Another management tool you should be using is a written contract that each student and his
or her parents sign. Whether you do this digitally or print and copy, this is an important piece of
management and documentation that is absolutely a must in a 1:1 classroom.


           When it comes to the written contract, decide what rules, procedures, and consequences you
want to be a part of your device management program in your own classroom. There are many
templates out there and most of them are very similar.


One of the most important concepts for you to stress to students is the understanding that
using technology, especially a school owned and managed device, is a privilege, not a right.
Even middle school students do not really understand the difference between these two things.
Just like you, we have district, school, and classroom level user agreements that students must
follow. If not, students can expect the defined consequences, which includes the loss of the
privilege of using devices & technology at school. It is a key idea I stress when teaching the
rules for using devices and it is prominent in my Chromebook Contract that every student and
parent is required to sign and return to me before the student is permitted to use a device in my
classroom. It is one of the first papers that go home with my students at the start of every school
year.


Here’s another FREEBIE alert!!! If you’d like to see or even use my template, sign up as a
subscriber and I will send the link to access your copy of it to your registered email.
As a subscriber, you will receive notification of new posts & any freebies! You can
unsubscribe at any time. Once you receive the link to make your own copy, feel free to
use as is or modify for your own needs.
5 tips for 1:1 classrooms


One other thing I suggest is to make sure your administrator is aware of your device
management plan and show him or her a copy of your contract you will be using.
Often times administrators get complaints before we do as teachers and it is helpful if
you share up-front what your plan is and how you are managing devices in your classroom.


          
  If you are going 1:1 with Chromebooks or any device this coming school year I’m sure you
are super excited and motivated to get going. It’s incredibly transformative when students have
access to devices and those devices give access to so many possibilities. There are many
things to consider as the gatekeeper of a room full of expensive devices. I hope that these tips
and pieces of advice from my own experience of 1:1 device classroom helps you set up a
positive and proactive plan.
           
What tips and advice do you have for 1:1 classroom teachers? What were your biggest
mistakes? Share in the comments below! Don’t forget to share/pin this article to Facebook
& Pinterest! Sharing is caring!


Thanks for reading what Mrs. Brumfield Writes.


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