This past month since the Chromebooks have been rolled out at the high school has been a complete blur.
We have roughly five to ten students per day with some sort of issue with their Chromebooks that appear at our Help Desk. Sometimes the issue is hardware, sometimes software, sometimes just plain, old user error. I feel as though my team members and I have become the Chromebook Kings and Queens (or maybe the Jesters!). On a daily basis we are resetting passwords for Skyward and Haiku, helping students to schedule their I/E blocks in Skyward, find the correct Haiku site for our domain, and showing students the basics of Google Apps and Chrome Apps and Extensions.
We have an AMAZING IT director who has been unbelievably supportive and dedicated to this huge undertaking. He spends his short amount of time at the high school during the week with one other IT person and our Help Desk students fixing screens (when will the students stop sitting on their computers?!), flipping back the switch and reloading computers. These are our top hardware issues. Once in a great while we get a funky trackpad or keyboard, but the majority of errors are because of the screens and flipped switches.
We have a cart of 30 rental Chromebooks for students who have their Chromebooks in for repair, just need a quick charge or left theirs at home to use throughout the day. Unfortunately, the cart has been emptied every day this week. Hopefully we see students not having to check out as many in the upcoming weeks.
We have four extremely helpful Help Desk students who are able to fix the hardware and software issues. It’s pretty amazing to watch what the students can do as when they are given the tools, instruction and trust to just go ahead and fix things.
There are days when I wonder what in the world we were thinking with this huge undertaking and then there are even more days when I am thankful that we chose to go 1:1 with Chromebooks. The response from the vast majority of students has been amazing. When you have a student crying to you with happiness of how much better this computer has made her life and the lives of her family members, you remember that resetting passwords and fixing screens is all worth while.