Students and teachers at St Patrick’s Catholic School, East Gosford were thrilled to be participating in a Chromebook eLearning pilot program during Semester two 2014. Thirty four Samsung Chromebook devices, purchased by the ICLT Services team in the Diocese of Broken Bay, were loaned to students and teachers in Year 4 and Year 6.
Chromebooks, a relatively new and inexpensive eLearning tool, are similar in many ways to a Netbook. They are designed for quick and seamless integration with the Diocese of Broken Bay Lighthouse – the Google Apps for Education Suite of Tools for students and teachers. This integration enables teachers to take advantage of educationally oriented Apps and Extensions that engage students in contemporary modes of collaborative learning. The Chromebooks also enabled very good online collaboration and enhanced teacher feedback on student work and next steps.
An important focus of the pilot was determining the degree to which the devices, when used in conjunction with the Google Apps for Education Suite, could support improved student learning outcomes. This focus was importantly contextualised within the implicit and explicit expressions of eLearning within the New South Wales syllabii for the Australian Curriculum.
The Interim Evaluation Report on the Chromebook Pilot confirmed several important school and system based learnings. Importantly these were realised within the context of student learning. Chrome books will make a positive contribution to what Broken Bay is calling an ecology of ICLT devices, alongside iPads and tablet type windows devices.