Adventures in Chromebook with a College Freshman

Maiya with her new toy

Maiya with her new toy

This morning, my daughter came to me in a bit of a pickle. She needed to get her “paper only” shot records scanned into her college system. I happen to have a scanner/printer combo but it never dawned on me that she had never utilized that particular task. Today, she learned.

After further discussion, I realized that the day that I knew would eventually come had arrived. The lack of technology integration into her education had finally shown itself. My daughter is leaving home in 3 weeks and is under-prepared for her tech-life ahead.


My daughter asked…

“You are a computer-mom, what about the moms that don’t know…what happens to their kids in college? Why do I need to learn this?”

I told her that I imagine that they end up fine. They learn it as they go. I told her that she would not know everything before she left but that I would not and could not send her off into the wild without some basic skills. After much thought, we decided to go full throttle, even purchasing a device…Chromebook.

Turning the chromebook on for the first time and watching my daughter’s face light up as this happened is a moment that I will cherish for a long time. She jumped right in. I was worried about her knowing how to connect it to wifi. Clearly, I did not need to worry as she did it with ease.

What I love about the chromebook is that it comes equipped and ready to go. Within seconds of typing in the wifi code, she immediately started customizing. This was huge because she, unlike me, does not get excited about “shiny”.

As with any new user, I did not want to throw the gamut of tools at her. Instead, we focused on a few necessities…

  • Organization
  • note-taking 
  • collaboration
  • presentation
  • Fun

I went through a few Google tools with her and showed her a few features. Within minutes, she was navigating on her own. I LOVED that. There will be a learning curve and a few more kinks along the way but I have no doubt that she’ll figure it out.

Finally, we reached the “get lost for the fun of it” zone, the Chrome web store. There, my daughter found a level of comfort in an app driven world. Once I showed her how the chrome web store was set up, she started to search for more specific tools like planning, diagramming and tweetdeck of course.

The most important thing that you can do with a new tech user is allow them to find the path of where it fits into their life…who they are. Only with ownership does buy-in happen.

Sometimes within the next few days, I will teach her about evernote, wevideo, research,  and other tools that she’s learned about with chrome app accessibility.

Today was a major step in making sure that my college freshman will be able to thrive in the tech world that awaits her.

Remember, she is not impressed with “shiny”. Today, she was.

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