Okay, I admit it. I’m an Apple fanboy. I have been for most of my adult life, with pretty good reason. You see I live in the audio/visual/graphics world. That world is ruled by iMac. When I took over as educator of a radio/TV program at a small rural high school I walked into a moderately outfitted studio. Packed to the brim with old technology, and PC computers. As a graduate of this same program, I was astonished that we ever got any type of production off the ground. It worked for what we were trying to accomplish, but for someone like myself it wasn’t good enough. We needed more.
That seems to be most of our concerns as educators. “If only I had more time/money/technology, I could do some really cool stuff”. This becomes even more prevalent as an educator of an all tech program. So I went to work, grants/donations/begging. Whatever it took. Slowly, we were able to make that “just good enough program” to an “outstanding program” because of generous donation from a local business who provided us with enough iMacs, cameras, and additional technology to make our program excel for years to come.
That has been the standard in my classroom for the past few years, but with the increase in the 1:1 push I was off to make our program future proof. I don’t like to sit still, and if we are going to be on the cutting edge of technology we must move forward. Currently, we are limited to the computers in our room. Students can use them to edit audio/video/graphics for a set period of time, but can’t collaborate past that. Although portable I’m not comfortable letting any student take home an iMac for any extended period of time. With the increase talks to bringing devices to every student in the building, and that talk being centered around Chromebooks and Google Apps I threw my hands up in the air. I’ve spent a significant amount of time, money, and effort into making our room a full blown production studio. The Chromebook in my room was set to be a glorified paperweight.
Instead of dwelling on how I couldn’t use that device in my classroom, I got to work. I weaved in and out of reviews, apps, and recommendations. I couldn’t let my preconceived notions about a specific device dictate my curriculum. I had to move our program forward.
So last week I purchased my first Chromebook, and over the next few post I will be outlining some of the really cool pieces of software and technology that I’ve stumbled upon in my journey to make our programs and classrooms more efficient without our iMacs to lead the way.