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Chromebook Replacement Charger

My husband asked me why I wasn’t using my new Chromebook last week.

Even though I didn’t tell him, I couldn’t even remember where it was in the house. When I first got my Chromebook 11, I was so excited about the newer, slicker model. I loved the white, but two weeks passed, and it wouldn’t charge. I had heard about the overheating issue, but I didn’t think my charger was one of the ones impacted because I could plug it in and everything indicated that it was charging.

I tried different plugs. I tried different outlets. I tried waiting for the Chromebook to completely die. I let it charge for 24 hours. The battery would not charge past 10%. I would try to work while the computer was charging and the battery would deplete even faster. It was frustrating and so, I went back to my Macbook Pro.

But when my husband asked me, I dug out my Chromebook again. When I plugged in my charger this time, there was an alert for the new replacement charge. I decided that it was at least worth it to ask for a replacement. So, I ordered it.

When it came, I immediately plugged in the charger. I can’t say that I had hope. I thought it was the actual computer, and I didn’t think the replacement charger was going to make any difference.

I was wrong.

It has made all the difference in the world! The charger works perfectly. My Chromebook now holds a charge for upwards of 8 hours. I take it with me everywhere. I use it all the time for coding, website revisions, and writing. As I was sitting in a meeting the other day looking at the other laptops surrounding me, I couldn’t help but notice that my Chromebook was at least half the size, if not a third of the size, of the surrounding computers.

This is my second Chromebook and the improvements made from the first generation to the 11 are incredible.

I’m glad I didn’t let a bad charger make me lose hope in the Chromebook. If you are like me and have put your Chromebook in the corner because of the charging issues, order your replacement charger (I won’t tell anyone it took you this long). Google support is quick on the shipping process (I think I had mine the very next day) and they are eager to help you fall in love with your Chromebook again.

System Update

As I watch my phone update to the newest operating system, I think about the fact that as humans we rarely (if ever) allow ourselves the extended time to do a full system update. Shutting down and shutting out all the notifications and needs of people and things.

If Apple operated as we did, then we wouldn’t have pushed technology to where it is now. I know we aren’t technology, but it takes a lot to continue the day in and day out responsibilities of operating. Why don’t we allow ourselves some update time?

If we did get in the habit of pushing ourselves to develop and create something new, then we would might be further along than if we simply trudged through every day trying to complete all the tasks we have to do.

With that in mind, please excuse me while I update to my latest operating system : )

My Attachment to My Chromebook

I was unsure at first whether I was going to like Google Chromebook.

I knew that I used Chrome and my Google account for almost all the work I did, but I was just worried I would be missing something that my Macbook Pro offered. I’m not.

This is the best decision I’ve made, not only because it is a back saver after lugging around my Macbook Pro and apple cord and adapters, but it is a time saver. Chrome Web Store has all of the desktop apps that I use without the hassle of updating them. Chromebooks update automatically and via the web, not asking your hard drive to hold onto anything.

The other thing that’s amazing is that any attachment I open automatically opens with Google Drive. It’s faster, it’s easier.

I’m attached!

We’re missing the point

In teaching my second set of students in the Social Media conference, I encountered two unique situations.

The first was that another adult entered the classroom and told the students that they needed to put up their cell phones and pay attention. It took me a couple of seconds to respond, but then I looked over and said, “This is the social media conference. They are actually responding to a survey using their cell phones.” To which, she responded, “Oh.”

The second was when one of students made began to text in her purse and I said, “You know you can take that out of your purse. We are going to be using them all class.”

She looked at me with a confused expression and then literally said out loud, “I feel free.”

If adults are responding to Social Media by limiting access and students who are invited to use Social Media in the classroom are acting in a completely different way, then there’s a disconnect.

We’re missing each other.

We’re missing the point of Social Media, which is to connect to each other.

Experiencing Remembering

I learned early on when I began to blog with students that if you allow too much time to pass between the experience (whether that’s reading, a guest speaker, a field trip) and writing about the experience, then students’ writing becomes stagnant and lifeless.

To truly capture their voices, students need time during the experience to write.

This allows them not only to practice using writing as a means of processing, but also allows them to hold onto the memory of the experience.

So, if you’ve hit that place in students blogs where you feel like students’ voices aren’t coming through, look at when you are asking them to write in comparison to when the actual experience they are writing about occurred. It might be as simple as timing!

So, why the censor?

After one day of my Sexting, Facebooking and Tweeting seminar, I am shocked and amazed, as I always am, by how astute students are.

We began our discussion by asking, “Why do teachers/adults feel like they need to limit access to devices?” They responded with nice, safe answers like “because they want us to be safe” or “because it’s a distraction.”

After I pushed a little, they hit the heart of the issue with answers like “because they don’t understand how it works” and “because it’s easier to manage.”

All of us are operating under motivations that drive our decisions. Are your decisions and school policies based on ease of operation? Are you making rules based on one or two students who misuse their devices for your whole school?

It’s time to rethink our motivation because like it or not, students understand us much more than we understand them.

Shhh Listen

Maybe working with students isn’t about what we want:

Yet many teachers are not comfortable with their student’s media: they don’t listen to the same genre of music; they don’t play video games; they don’t watch the same TV shows or movies which appeal to their students. But they should. Allow me to elaborate.

When I would pick up my son from high school, my Smooth Jazz music was playing from the radio station I listened to in the car. He would invariably hit the button to go to the rock station. I would switch it back. This was constant. Until one day, I got the idea to try to listen to his music. So that’s what I did: he got into the car and his station was playing and it was playing a song from the 70’s that was remade for his generation. To top it all off, I was singing the lyrics. He was astonished that I knew the lyrics to “his” song.  Thus a door to communication had been opened.

Drop your expectations and listen to what students are saying.

How to connect student to student via Twitter

Sometimes, I feel like the conversations about Twitter center around the impact that it can have on professional development too much. I certainly value it for that reason, but I don’t think that students will use it in the same way.

Although I have heard that some teachers are exploring with Twitter in the classroom in ways like back feeding class notes or tweeting as a character from a book, I have not settled on whether these are the best use of the technology. While I can see the benefits, I still think those “integrations” are forced and trite.

Twitter was created with community at the center of purpose.

To connect people.

To connect ideas.

To connect.

So, how can we show students how to connect via Twitter with other students?

Are we connected enough with students to even know where to begin?

Looking for a stronger connection

In preparing for a seminar for youth on social media, I have hit a brick wall. This is not uncommon, I often hit a brick wall in preparing to teach something new, especially when technology is involved; however, in this case I am stuck in the middle.

I have no idea if my students will have any sort of device when they come to my seminar because many of their leaders have taken up their cell phones. I understand the policy and the philosophy where this is coming from. In fact, this isn’t the first time that I have encountered this. I have had parents, fellow teachers and administrators who have limited access to technology and I can think around it.

But when is it going to be common place to find an audience who understands how incredibly deep and meaningful using Social Media in a learning setting can be? When is it going to become common place that instead of making rules to ban technology, we are actually going to have open and honest communication about this form of connecting? When are we going to recognize that maybe, just maybe, if students are connected to their devices, they are actually looking for a deeper connection from us?


A Crack, A Sliver

It is because I know, and have known since graduating from High School that the challenges faced by the education system are many. Everything from chronic funding shortages at many schools and Universities, to a fundamental disconnect between the way education is delivered and the 21st Century.

Preparing your students for University/College has traditionally been though of as the way to guarantee their success. This is no longer the case, and in fact probably has not been for more than a decade. The problem is less in the preparation for University than with the University system itself – it is broken.

Apple saw a crack, a sliver of opportunity and busted it wide open with iTunesU. Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be quite a ride!