For the past four years, I have worked with Chicago Public School’s first 1:1 Chromebook program at Chicago Academy High School. I always meant to blog about my experience, as we were out there on the edge buying Samsung 500C-12s by the cart full, working without a net or access to Google's Admin Console. Those were the heady early days of Google Apps for Education: no Add-Ons, just App Script, and the constant drone of "But, a Chromebook can't run... whatever-fill-in-the-blank-silly-program-like-Word-or-Java-applet-nonsense." Here we are years later and Chromebooks have basically taken over the educational market. Companies have been forced to upgrade their web apps to HTML5 or perish, testing apps can be pushed out to thousands of devices with the click of a button, and most importantly, less time spent on maintaining the devices directly equates to more time working with staff to develop rich and powerful digital learning experiences for students. Times are good to be immersed in the GAFE and Chromebook world.
So, why on earth would I leave a comfortable position and start all over, again? Honestly, I have no idea. It is silly, and yet here I am at a new school with limited Google Apps Integration and no Chromebooks. I am starting over from scratch. Well, not exactly, I do have four years of experience behind me. I like to think I learned something. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn't. Either way, this time I am going to document and share the journey.