Device Neutral

27 01 2013

Things are looking up at the new school.  We have a very forward thinking principal, and a staff who has decided to remain device neutral.  I am now looking at Chromebooks for our library.  My ramblings on why I think Chromebooks are the best choice.  I started with the question “What do I want the kids to be able to do with the device, and what are the learning goals?”

Answer:

First:  It would be awesome if kids could actually search the library catalog, it would free me up from helping some find books that they knew the titles or authors of.  Since the library catalog is online, this is easily achieved with any device that has online access.
Second:  I would like to teach research skills.  So many kids have no idea what a boolean search is, how to narrow search terms, how to take notes without a pencil and paper, how to multiple windows at once. (I know it’s kind of shocking to me)
Third:  I want the library to be the hub of the school, a place kids can come to do work, to read, to relax.  In my world that means that there needs to be a working internet connection so that kids can look things up when they need to or access an eBook, or see if the Public Library has the book they want to read.

When I realized that none of my goals were application specific, the price of a Chromebook is most certainly enticing.  At $199 US per device, that is the equivalent of about 1/2 and iPad or 1/5 of a desktop machine.

The only downside that I can find is the device management.  I am ok with managing them myself, but I’m skeptical with IT services at the district level.  Past experience has been that they say no more than yes. Which is sad.

Coming up next, my ramblings about BYOD and using eBooks in the Library.  I will likely post on the school library blog as well, http://blog44.ca/cclibrary

 

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