Having Chromebooks and G Suite can supercharge learning in class. Information is at students' fingertips. They can create digitally with what they learn. They can share, collaborate and make connections.
But for many students, when that Chromebook goes home, all of that changes.
Many students don't have Internet access at home. Some statistics based on U.S. census data:
This is an especially important issue as more and more schools turn to elearning days. Students don't come to school during cancellations for weather or other reasons. They complete work from home so the school day counts and doesn't have to be made up.
Thankfully, there's an option to keep powerful digital learning on track.
Chromebooks -- and computers using the Google Chrome web browser -- can do a lot when set up to work offline. Even without a WiFi connection, users can ...
NOTE: I'm not a fan of homework. I quit giving homework as a teacher, and there's this book I co-authored about ditching it. Just want to get that out of the way. But if you feel homework must be assigned (and I can't change your mind), using offline access gives you many, many more options.
So ... how can you get your students ready to thrive with their devices at home? Let's use three steps ...
To make the most of devices with no Internet connection, there are just a few steps you'll need to take.
This makes your most recent files available offline. If you want to make sure an older file is available offline, just open it and click "File > Make available offline."
Practice it to make sure it works! Have students turn off their WiFi in the bottom right corner of their devices. Then try to load what you want them to access offline. If it doesn't work, you can troubleshoot with them in person.
If you find that you're not able to work offline -- maybe because it's turned off by your Google admins -- here's the support page they need to enable it. (It's really quick and easy ... just turning on a feature.) Here's a Google support page about using offline access for users.
There are a LOT of apps to choose from when working offline. Here are some examples:
In addition to these sites, apps and extensions, you can always download files to your device to access later. That includes PDF files, images, videos and more. They live in the downloads or files folder of your device.
Now that you know what your students can do with their devices while offline, what kinds of elearning day activities can you plan with them?
Here are some ideas ...
Really, many of the ideas from our G Suite ideas page can be done as offline elearning day activities. Check them out and find something you like!
Remember, with any of these activities, doing a short test-run with students can help avoid problems. Have them turn WiFi off on their devices and check if an idea works before sending them home to do it.
Student work doesn't have to get boring while offline! Set up their devices to go offline and let their creative learning thrive!
Our eLearning page has TONS of resources for bringing learning directly to your students no matter where they are!
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