I am currently observing an English classroom at Beachwood High School. This high school has a lot of technology at it’s disposal, and technology is frequently used in the classroom in which I am observing.
Beachwood has a 1-to-1 Chrome Book selection. Most students have and bring their own laptops to class, which they bought themselves. However, there is a Chrome Book located in the library for anyone who needs one. If a student does not have a laptop but require one, they just have to ask the teacher and they will be given a pass to go to the library and retrieve one.
These Chrome Books are available as long as their is a staff member in the library to give them out, which includes an hour before school, during school hours, and two hours after school when all students should be out of the building. They are not allowed to take the Chrome Books home overnight. They are also unable to reserve the Chrome Books, simply because there is one for each student, so there is no need to have a reservation system.
Certain web 2.0 sites are blocked, including all of the social media sites. However, students are generally able to get around this by using LTE or 3G on their phones instead of the wifi. My teacher lets students be on their cellphones during class, so the web 2.0 blocking does not have a lot of power in that classroom. Students are also able to access Netflix, Youtube, and iChat, so they do have several distractions which I have observed them using while they are supposed to be learning. There is no way to move around this firewall unless you log onto the teacher wifi, which does not have blocks for social media sites.
While researching for this blog, I spoke to Mr. Josh Davis, my mentor teacher; Ms. Jennifer Flaherty, the Media Specialist at BHS; and Sophie Cromwell, a student in Mr. Davis’s class. I talked to Mr. Davis about the technology he allows in his classroom, as well as what technology is generically available to the student body at large. When talking to Ms.Flaherty, I learned about the different technologies available as well as firewalls and repairs to broken Chrome Books. Sophie talked to me a lot about what she can get away with on the Chrome Books, including accessing Netflix, YouTube, and iChat.