Frank Otis Elementary Improves Their Students' Typing Skills by Using with Google Chromebooks

Frank Otis Elementary School is located in Alameda, California. Connie Chapman is the head Librarian-Teacher and IT Manager for the school. Connie's classrooms are on the cutting edge of educational technology for primary-age education, with students using many different online learning tools across several subjects. Connie always tries to think ahead to make sure her students are using the most up-to-date technology available.

At a Glance

Connie Chapman's elementary school previously used a computer lab model with stationary desktops. This created a hassle for Connie because she had to download computer programs to each computer and set up student accounts that were computer-specific. Furthermore, these downloaded programs allowed very little, if any, customization for teachers. This year, Connie introduced Chromebooks, a 3-D MakerBot, and TypingClub to her school. Now, her students can carry their computers with them between classes and access educational tools in class or at home. Connie can also easily manage her instructors and students from a single account.

The Challenge

Connie manages the IT department for Frank Otis Elementary School. She is responsible for facilitating technology education for several hundred students, as well as teaching her own classes. She uses the best technology available in her classes to make sure her students have access to the most effective educational tools. For several years, Connie's school used standard desktop computers located in a computer lab, each of which had to be manually loaded with software. The most effective way to teach typing is to customize lessons according to students' individual skill levels, which was not possible with the computer lab model. Downloading software and setting up student accounts one-by-one was frustrating and time consuming for both teachers and students. Keyboarding classes are only held once per week, and students had to waste valuable class time on account setup instead of substantive learning. Connie needed a way to reduce this frustration and let students practice typing at home.

The Solution

Connie introduced two new tools to her school: Chromebooks and TypingClub. Chromebooks were a perfect fit for Connie and her school because they allow students portability and compatibility with many essential educational tools. Chromebooks include an interface that is friendly for students: apps lead students to the correct programs with just one click, saving students from navigating lengthy and confusing URLs. Each student is automatically logged in to his or her Google account on the Chromebook. This Single Sign-On option makes it easy for students to log in without having to remember usernames and passwords. As an administrator, Connie didn't have to worry about generating, uploading, and distributing unique usernames and passwords because she could upload her students and instructors with their Google email addresses.

Using the Single Sign-On with Google and our Chromebooks, I do not have any more login questions, no more forgotten usernames and passwords.

Connie Chapman

For Connie, TypingClub has been an effective and efficient educational tool. Because students can use TypingClub at home, she can devote class time to instruction and allow students to practice applying those lessons while they are not in the classroom. This gives Connie more time to interact with her students, instead of spending valuable class time hoping that students finish as many lessons as possible. TypingClub's integration with Google Chromebooks and Single Sign On Capabilities with significantly lessened the amount of work that Connie must do to set up students for class. She simply downloads the EdClub app on her administrative console and pushes it to her students' Chromebooks. Single Sign On allows Connie's students and instructors to sign in to their Chromebooks by clicking a pre-loaded app and entering their Google E-Mail addresses. This username and password will then be saved on the Chromebook, so students do not need to memorize login information. If students need to practice on multiple computers, they can do with their Google E-Mail address because the program is web-based and will work on any computer with an internet connection.

The Capabilities

Connie's students have sped through their TypingClub lessons, and they have been able to achieve a higher level of comprehension while doing so. As students work through lessons, they earn stars by meeting specific speed and accuracy requirements. Connie's students have been able to improve their typing quickly because students were able to repeat lessons in the classroom and at home. This repetition of short lessons is the best way to learn typing because it builds muscle memory efficiently. In addition, lessons can be customized with information from other academic subjects, which allows students to learn about various subjects while typing.

We were using free TypingClub accounts with all of our instructors individually- everyone had a separate login URL, and, although we loved the program, it was tricky to manage all of the accounts from different login URLs. Once we created a school-wide account and merged all of our classes together, we have been thrilled with the TypingClub experience. It's been so easy to integrate our Chromebooks, the EdClub app, and Google Single Sign-On with our TypingClub account-- kids don't have to worry about all the usernames and clicking anymore!