Friday, March 10, 2017


I just noticed it has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog, so I thought I would update everyone on what has been happening.

  • I am still using Chrome OS exclusively. I have my site issued laptop, but it just sits next to my desk and doesn't even get powered on. I seriously wished we would have gone with some type of Chrome OS device for the staff, but I gave them reasons why and that's all I could do. At work, I have my Asus Chromebox and at home I use my Dell Chromebook 13. It is so nice to have everything just sitting there as soon as I log in. Nothing to take home, no worrying about forgetting something, it's just there when I log in.
  • My students still use their Chromebooks everyday. Having Chromebooks has really opened up and made me rethink the way I teach and assess. Honestly, I really want to get a class set of the Acer Spin 11 Chromebooks with the stylus support. Imagine being able to hand write in notes and have them at a moments notice. Add in the fact the recent integration of Google Keep into Google Docs and this is a no brainer.
  • Personally, I am looking closely at the Samsung Chromebook Pro. I have a Note Pro 12.2 that I use with my students to do notes on. But the Android version of Docs doesn't show up the same as they see. Also some of the formulas I use don't show. So using a Chromebook would mean I see what they see exactly. So I am probably going to sell the Dell Chromebook and use that to get the Samsung model.
  • Professionally, it is frustrating at times trying to convince people of the simplicity of Chrome OS & Google Apps for Education. I feel like I am at a point where it is more trouble to push something than to just give up. I have tried to implement various things within my department & the school and just get complaints. I showed the principal a Staff Resource shared document that had calendars, links, forms, and other things important to teachers. The idea is to cut back on emails with attachments. If you have one place for all the information, no need to search your inbox for it. Attachments of rosters would be gone because the rosters would be online and changed whenever the owners made changes. It started fine, but wasn't supported by admin and is dying a slow death. Moving my Geometry team to Google Calendar from the old paper pacing guide has been a mess too. I put links and attachments in the calendar and still get staff wanting email attachments. I created an online referral form for the staff to cut back on the paper referrals and it is sitting in limbo. Tried moving AP Applications to a Google Form to where the teacher would literally do nothing and it would flag who is in and who is out automatically, that is dead. They went with a Google Form that will still require the teacher to go through student by student. Frustrated beyond belief right now. I honestly don't know what to do and it is tiresome.

So that's where I am right now. Hopefully, I will get something posted before end of school. Maybe the next post will be about my new Chromebook.


  1. Kevin,

    Keep posting and keep up with the Chromebook adventure!

    I have found over the years, that having the three legs involved with changes in Technology are key (Teacher, Tech and Admin). Without "buy in" from either of these, it is an uphill battle. Often the same information shared from a different source helps (do you have others in your organization who can be a spokesperson?).

    Thanks again for all your posts!

    1. yeah I had a principal who seemed open to the idea, but he left. So back to square 1.

      I totally agree with you 3 legs analogy. Admin seems to be the hardest one to convince of change. I know they have their reasons, but it becomes so frustrating.

      Thanks for reading the blog too.

  2. Hello,

    What do yo suggest for a Chrome-lover who's book is NOT working. It charges fine, the light comes on for to indicate charger. However the screen is black. I tried refresh and power but...nothing. I've tried rebooting...nothing. I go on the HP web-help...nothing!

    1. Have you tried powering it up while the charger is plugged in? If you have tried that, the last thing I would do is the Chromebook recover utility,

      It could just be the screen has gone out too. Tough to tell since the screen won't show you anything.

  3. Hey, Kevin. As the resident geek in my district and building, I can understand every frustration you've mentioned. One lightbulb that went on for me this year was the "why." My colleagues still can't wrap their heads around WHY make the switch, and for them, especially the non-digital natives, they think they are going to invest way too much time in something that they don't see working all the time. My building network is on-again off-again lousy, so in addition to fighting the losing battle to integrate tech, when the network blows I also get a chorus of "See? Told you so! Why bother!" It is only recently that I've been dialing back from geekdom to the slow pedestrian stuff, the stuff that would take even a novice just seconds to incorporate. And I introduce those ideas now with the WHY part first. "Hey - I found a way to get my kids to collaborate more, including the quiet wallflowers - wanne see?" And I'm finding modestly a bit more success.

    Hang in there and keep doing what you do. Remember that your end game is ultimately your students, and if they are getting something out of your grand adventure (and 21st century learning says they are), then you are winning!

    1. thanks for the pep talk. Glad to know I'm not alone in this. I have seen more of my colleagues around me willing to try more technology based stuff. I guess I just want to move faster, but you are right.

      Side note, how is it that some teachers have no clue what CTRL + C & CTRL + V do? It's 2017!!

    2. Agreed on the moving faster part, and especially on the "but this would make our lives SO MUCH EASIER" part!

      I have charts posted in my room for students (ctrl+c, +x, +z, etc etc) and yes, colleagues think I've just decoded some sort of easter egg for them when they stop by to visit :-)

      Question: is there anything that you miss, since you are running strictly on Chromebooks? I love screencastomatic, for example. Screencastify is fine, but I love the ability to roll back and edit. I'd miss that. Also, do you run a whiteboard app through your Chromebook, and if so, which one?


    3. for the most part I don't miss anything. Printing is probably one of the bigger issues, but even that isn't a problem because I don't print copies anymore. Everything is on Google Classroom & my tests are on Socrative.

      I use my Note Pro 12.2 to teach through to the students, so it has its own wireless adapter. If I want to show something unique to their chromebooks, I have a drop next to my desk so I just plug it in.

      I am planning on getting the Samsung Chromebook Plus. With that I will be able to write on top of the Google Docs notes. So I am trying to figure out how to mirror it. Our network requires a unique username & password, and Chromecasts don't support that. I have read about an ethernet adapter for the Chromecast that I might look into using.