Chromebooks are very little-friendly devices! My TK class did not have regular access to Chromebooks, however I was fortunate that our principal let us borrow some upon request. I took enough Chromebooks for my students to use during centers. I liked having my students work with technology in small groups because it gave me an opportunity to troubleshoot when necessary and answer questions that related to the learning objective.
Before Setting up the Chromebooks
Know that your students are completely capable of being part of the set-up process for the Chromebooks. On the SECOND day of school, my kindergartners logged themselves into their Chromebooks and set their profile picture. In that same week, my students joined my Google Classroom. I share more about that experience in this blog.
You can also take the route of doing the initial set up on your own. Here are steps to complete prior to the kids signing on for the first time.
- Create a Google Classroom and write down your class code.
- Be sure to have a list of your students’ school Google email addresses and passwords. I suggest that you create login cards.
Getting Chromebooks Ready for Students
1. Assign students to Chromebooks
Label each Chromebook with the name(s) of the student(s) who will go on that device. If you plan on using Chromebooks in small groups, remember not to assign students within the same rotation to the same device. I used a Post-its on the backs of the Chromebooks to label the kids on the devices, because they were not ours to keep. If they were ours, I would probably put nice label on top of a piece of painters tape (so it would not leave residue).
2. Add students to Chromebooks
Click on + Add Person and input student’s Google email address and password. You will be prompted to set a profile image. If your student is around to take a picture, click on the camera button to take a selfie of the kiddo. If not, you can add a photo later. If your school/district does not allow you to add/save users, students will have to type in their usernames as well.
3. Have students join your Google Classroom
Go to classroom.google.com to have students join your Classroom. If this is the first time the student is using Google Classroom, be sure to select Student. Click on the “+“ for the student to Join class; enter your class code.
4. Create Google Classroom shortcut:
Go the chrome.google.com/webstore to get the Google Classroom icon to appear in the shelf.
5. Add Your Students’ Profile Images
Students identify their accounts with ease when they recognize their faces. There are different ways to approaching this task:
- After students complete the initial sign in, have them take a selfie with the webcam to set the profile picture.
- If students are not present, take pictures ahead of time and put them in a folder on a flash drive. Below is a video of how to change the profile picture with this method:
Sign the student out of the Chromebook and repeat this process for each student on the various Chromebooks! Remember this process only has to be done once, and you can choose to coach the students through the process. If you decide to take the coaching route, try it out in a small group.
Insight on Chromebook Management
- Consider creating GAfE login cards, click here to learn more. You can lay the login cards out somewhere for the kids to grab, and then go to their Chromebook to sign in.
- Put a device identifier or special mark somewhere on the front of the Chromebook, such as a colored sticker, so students know which device they will be using. I used iPads with my students, and used the same device identifier color, which was a color.