We're approaching the end of our journey along the road to children taking home their Chromebooks. As I write that, I'm thinking 'no we haven't!'. And I'm probably right. What I mean is, we're approaching a very significant milestone. It's the one where children take home their Chromebooks, but I doubt that will be the end of the journey. Connectivity. E-Safety. Flipped classrooms. Lost and damaged hardware. And no doubt a raft of other issues, challenges and opportunities we've never considered still await.
So where exactly are we? Well, following a couple of parent meetings we have a strategy for rolling out the 'take home' project. Surprisingly, a significant number of parents said 'no' to their children taking the tec home. An interesting, and unexpected opinion. Some parents already have enough tec at home, so the idea of having to care for the school equipment isn't that desirable. As a result, we're having an opt in system to allow a little flexibility.
We're going to roll out to Year 6 (age 10-11) over the next few weeks and see how things go. After that, we'll hopefully be able to extend the project to all children. We're using GoGuardian to provide a safe online experience for the children (https://www.goguardian.com/). Basically a firewall and tracking system which protects the children even when they're off-site.
Another issue raised by parents was regarding the idea of a case. We've managed to secure a good price from C-Learning (http://c-learning.net/) for some Belkin sleeves which should provide enough protection for the journey to and from school. Incidentally, C-Learning have provided us with all our hardware and are great for training and advice if you are in the UK (and probably the EU too). I would definitely recommend you look them up.
Finally, we've managed to find what looks like a decent social media site for children. Skooville (https://www.skooville.com/) seems to provide a decent balance between functionality and monitored, safety restrictions. We're going to be evaluating this with our Y6s as part of the 'go home' project. I'll update as we get feedback.
Oh, and just before I go... Google Keep is great!