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Sunday, July 31, 2016

I spent HOURS looking.

Remote controls are ubiquitous, right?

So I had a brainstorm the other day that I think is pretty brilliant, well, or at least clever enough to work well.

What had happened was...

No really, there is a story here.

Monday the topic of common protocols for Chromebooks came up at our team meeting.

Tuesday, I was talking to our Instructional Technologist and AP in charge of technology about the start of the school year.

The topic of common protocols for classroom behaviors related to Chromebooks had been on my mind.

Tim, our IT teacher, said "Its on my To Do list."

I asked if my team could work on it for him.

Seeing as this is our first roll out week for 1:1 for our first year as a 1:1 school and his first year in this new position, he said yes.

So I started thinking about it.
I've hear of places that use a stop light or have a "park" procedure for times when the computers need to be put aside.

But I hadn't ever seen anything more comprehensive.

I hopped on line thinking surely a set of protocols in simple language using some clever graphic already exists.

Surely I can find something we can use or modify.

Nope. Nada.

I spent HOURS looking.

There were a few things, but none of them quite fit the bill. They were too simple or too wordy or too blah.

I even asked my Twitter #PLN...and, nothing...beyond a few kind retweets.

Then, on the way to my meeting Wednesday morning, I had a light bulb moment.

Actually, lightening struck twice, but by the time I arrived at the meeting, one idea was just gone.

I never did retrieve the second brainstorm. It fled my head completely.

It must not have been that good, right?

The other idea stuck around and I think it is a keeper.

Here it is: the protocols will be based on a remote control.

Each button will represent an action or type of environment with common language.

So the "Stop" button will equal "No Chromebooks at this time."

The "Pause" button will be used to mean "Screens down, eyes up" for a short instructional interlude.

A "Sound" button will be included to indicate when computers need to be on mute and/or earbuds out. The exact common language is TBD in my head.

Maybe a "Play" button that indicates "Get busy on your school work."

Possibly a "Record" button to have students "Make your screen match mine?"

The last couple I have been contemplating are a "Home" button that might mean "Go to your Google Classroom" or a "Email" button with a hopefully obvious meaning.

I know that we want to keep it stupid simple initially. Five buttons seems like a good limit.

It is a little unclear still exactly what the final configuration will be.

For sure, a couple of blank buttons will be included that individual teachers can customize.

I haven't created the actual graphic yet.

And more people need to see it and provide feedback before it is ready for use.

In fact, comments are most very welcome here! Please post below if you have thoughts.

On the other hand, here is why I think this idea has merit.

We can make posters of this graphic with the language for classrooms.

Teachers can use the language without the visual because it is common enough to be recognized once its taught.

Posters can be used to reinforce the language.

And best of all, the best part to me, is that clip art of the buttons can be provided to teachers to be posted on ANY projected screen.

That simple button placed on a slide in a presentation or a doc or anything can convey the exact standard of behavior to be met.

I think that is a cool idea. I can see in my mind's eye how it could work.

I love the possibility of common language that is easy to remember and reinforce.

How could that not be a good thing?

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