The Chromebook Classroom Podcast

The podcast that explore how Chromebooks are impacting the K-12 classroom.
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The Chromebook Classroom Podcast




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Mar 11, 2019

Is a Chromebook tablet a good idea? That’s the question that we will attempt to answer on this episode of the Chromebook Classroom podcast!

My guest is Marcus Mead, director of instructional technology for Glen Lake Schools in northern Michigan. Marcus oversee the Chromebook program in Glen Lake which recently added Acer Chrome Tablets to its existing collection of Chromebooks.

For show notes and links, visit

Mar 1, 2019

Google Forms might be my favorite member of the Google family.

  • As a teacher I use forms for quizzes, group projects and school fundraisers.
  • As a principal I use forms for staff surveys, course selections, and quarterly grade reports.
  • As a small business owner I use forms to set follow up reminders, send out invoices, PD certificates, and organize events.

In this episode I am sharing five ways that you can design better Google Forms!

  1. Use validation to collect better data
  2. Make your forms look pretty
  3. Automate with Add-ons
  4. Filter, Sort, and Pivot your data
  5. Auto-grade and lock your quizzes

Are you ready to become a Form Fanatic?

Each spring I teach a 5 week Google Forms masterclass through Google Classroom. This course is for anyone who is familiar with forms and is ready to become a form master! 

Last spring I offered this course for the first time and the feedback was outstanding:

"I was a casual user of Forms, but I was not using the data that I had collected to it's full potential. Now I am writing better Forms so my data is of higher quality and I am better able to analyze the results so I'm making decisions based on data...not just giving surveys." - Laura Foreback, middle school teacher

This course is perfect for classroom teachers, tech coaches, and school administrators!

Head over to for details!

Jan 25, 2019

Audio projects aren’t as common as image or video projects, but that doesn’t mean that audio isn’t a great option! Because they lack a visual element, audio projects are easier to create and require more attention to the core content of the assignment.

Engaging audio requires creative writing and planning, making audio projects a great option for writing focused classrooms.

This episode features classroom ideas and tools for recording, editing, and publishing audio projects in your classroom. 

Featured Tools: 

For more tips and lesson ideas for Chromebook Classrooms visit

Jan 1, 2019

Over the past 50 years, Bob Gregory has been a school teacher, a church pastor, a school principal and an education resource supplier in Australia and around the South Pacific region. He officially retired in 2015 and in 2016 became the education manager for Transform Cambodia, an NGO dedicated to helping the children of Cambodia escape poverty.

In this episode you'll hear how Chromebooks are being used to give hope to more than 3,000 Children in Cambodia. 

For show notes and links, visit

Dec 8, 2018

Google Forms gets "Locked mode" and it's an exclusive Chromebook feature!

Locked quiz mode prevents students from accessing opening new tabs or accessing unauthorized digital content.

In this mini-episode I break down everything you need to know about locked quizzes!

For more details on this new feature, including a video overview, visit

Note: As of December 6, 2018 the locked quiz feature is only available to a small number beta testers. I anticipate that locked quizzes will become available to all G Suite for Education users in January 2019.

Dec 1, 2018
Are Chromebooks good for more than math games and web research?
This is one of the topics that I discuss with Andy Losik, elementary STEM teacher, during this episode of the Chromebook Classroom Podcast!
Andy Losik (@mrlosik) is a PK-5 STEM teacher at Hamilton Schools in west Michigan. Andy has a rich background as a classroom teacher and technology expert. He is an Apple Distinguished educator, Google Certified innovator and Discover Education Programs Champion, and helpful guy.
Show notes:
Nov 1, 2018

With Chromebooks in your classroom, exploring remote and exciting parts of the world has never been easier!

Joining me on this episode of the podcast are Kim Randall and Kelly Kermode, two wonderful and well traveled educators, and authors of Bring the World to your Classroom.

Visit for links, resources, and tools mentioned in this episode of the Chromebook Classroom Podcast.

Oct 15, 2018

How do you make math interesting for a middle school student?

Eric Marcos has been helping students create instructional math videos since 2007. These amazing (and entertaining) videos have been watched by more than 1.6 million students and teachers from around the world.

Eric teaches in Santa Monica, California and also runs where you can find all of his videos.

Visit for links, resources, and tools mentioned in this episode of the Chromebook Classroom Podcast.

Sep 30, 2018

How do you help teachers develop new skills and grow as professionals?

Andrea Derrick has developed an impressive digital learning program to encourage the staff in her district to develop new skills. This comprehensive, detailed program helps teachers regardless of whether they are just starting to use technology in the classroom or are an advanced user.

Aug 28, 2018

Chromebook web filtering is should mean more than just blocking bad websites. Bharath Madhusudan, co-founder of the web filtering company Securly, shares how his company is working to keep kids safe on the web by using machine learning and natural language processing to prevent cyber bullying and self-harm.

Visit for information on Securely's free Chromebook filtering tools. 

Jan 10, 2018

How do you teach world language in the age of Google Translate? Bethany Thompson (@bthompsonEDU) began teaching French 19 years ago. She has personally observed the impact that technology has had on the classroom. These challenges and opportunities aren’t unique to world language, however. They also impact math and many other subject area. This conversation is filled with practical ideas for embracing change and challenge students to be critical thinkers.

When you listen to my conversation with Bethany, I think you will be impressed by some of the creative, non-traditional ways she is using common tools like Google Docs, Presentation, and Google Forms. She isn't using lots of language-specific apps and extensions. Instead, she is applying readily accessble products in some creative ways.

Visit to download a copy of Bethany's accent shortcut cheat-sheet  for Chromebooks!

Dec 11, 2017

We’re heading across Atlantic ocean today to learn how Chromebooks are being used in the United Kingdom! My guest is Mark Allen, a long time IT director and technology specialists who has worked with hundreds of schools in England.

Mark and I discuss many things including the pros and cons of requiring all students to learn how to code, concern over Google’s data collection practices, and strategies for encouraging schools and teachers to adapt to new technologies and teaching tools.

It’s always interesting to hear perspectives from different countries and cultures. That certainly emerges during my conversation with Mark.

Visit for to download "7 steps to make change stick."

Nov 19, 2017

In an effort to better understand the specific challenges and needs of teachers, administrators, and instructional coaches, I created a survey and asked for specific feedback on challenges related to implementing technology into the classroom.

In this episode of the podcast I am sharing the final results of the survey.

My challenge to you is to take this information and begin thinking about what you can do to remove these barriers in your school. 

Send me a tweet (@jrsowash) and let me know what you plan to do!

Nov 12, 2017

Chromebooks are great for classroom learning, but why stop there? Fairview Independent Schools in eastern Kentucky created the student technology leadership program to give students an opportunity to learn how to service and support technology use within the district. In this episode I am joined by Corey Moore (@mrmoorefhs), director of the student help desk program. Corey shares insights on the Fairview 1:1 program and tips on how to start your student Chromebook repair program. We are also joined by Tori and Ali, two high school students on the help desk team who share what it’s like to support classroom teachers and make Chromebook repairs.

Visit for a resources that will help you start a student help-desk and Chromebook repair program!

Oct 24, 2017

Make learning active by asking students to demonstrate their learning by designing a multimedia project. Not only are they fun to create, they can be easily shared within your class or school community. In this episode I share my top recommendations for working with images, audio recordings, and video using a Chromebook

To get the list, visit

Oct 19, 2017

The makerspace movement is focused on learning through creation. But how do Chromebooks fit into your makerspace? The Nerdy Teacher, Nick Provenzano, shares his thoughts on using Chromebooks for coding, 3D printing and more! Plus, Nick shares the new badge program he is developing for middle school students.

Visit for a copy of the 10 most popular Chrome Unboxed articles and other links mentioned in this episode.

Oct 9, 2017

In between my conversations with Chromebook using educators I would like to share resources and lesson ideas to help get the most out of your Chromebooks.

Today I am sharing my free email course, "developing your Chromebook Classroom." This five lesson course is perfect for anyone who is just getting started with Chromebooks. Here's what you can expect:

  • Lesson 1 - Getting started (logging in)
  • Lesson 2 - Navigating the web
  • Lesson 3 - Finding the best content
  • Lesson 4 - Avoiding distractions
  • Lesson 5 - Put your Chromebook away!

Each email is filled with links, resources, and lesson ideas. You can unsubscribe from the course at any time.

To sign up visit!

See you  next week with a full length episode!


Oct 2, 2017

My guest is Gabriel Brangers, co-founder of Chrome Unboxed - arguably the top resource for ChromeOS related news on the internet. 

Gabriel has been called the “Sherlock Holmes” of Chromebooks because he explores the deep reaches of the open source Chromium code repository looking for clues about what Google developers are working on for the next generation of Chromebooks. Gabriel explains the testing process and shares how you can help test new features by switching to the Chromebook beta channel.

Visit for a copy of the 10 most popular Chrome Unboxed articles and other links mentioned in this episode.

Sep 19, 2017

Season 2 of The Chromebook Classroom podcast will introduce you to another set of awesome people who have fresh ideas about using technology in education. My goal is to bring you modern ideas from a variety of perspectives: from both in and outside of the classroom, from across the US and the world, from teachers, students, administrators, and companies that support the use of Chromebooks in the classroom. 

The first episode of season 2 will be available on October 1, 2017. Subscribe to the show via iTunes or Stitcher to be notified of new episodes as they come out.

Visit for show notes and resources. 

Jan 8, 2017

Welcome to season 1 of the Chromebook Classroom Podcast.

This podcast was created to highlight how Chromebooks are impacting education around the world. Season 1 features six episodes with interviews with the head of Chromebooks for Education, a tech director from Ohio, an elementary teacher who figured out how to get 5 year olds to enter their password correctly, a energetic college professor, a tech integration specialist who helped his teachers migrate from iPads to Chromebooks, and a middle school teacher who uses Chromebooks for project based learning. It’s a full season!

You, dear listener, have a strong impact on the future of this podcast. Will there be a season 2? That is up to you! If you enjoy this podcast, please take a moment to rate it on iTunes or Google play or visit to vote for season 2.

Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy season 1.

Jan 7, 2017

This is my interview with Cyrus Mistry, Group Product Manager, Android & Chromebooks for Education. Cyrus is in charge of managing the Chromebook for Education team at Google. His early efforts helped the first round of Chromebooks to schools which provided to be amazingly successful. Today, over 50% of devices used in Schools are Chromebooks.

Visit for show notes and resources. 

Jan 6, 2017

iPads to Chromebooks? My interview with Dave Bast from Holland Public Schools shows that it's not about the tech you select, but the learning you can enable. 

Visit for show notes and resources. 

Jan 5, 2017

How do you protect and repair your Chromebook? My interview with Eric Griffith from Mechanicsburg schools in Ohio discusses key strategies for ensuring that your Chromebooks withstand the stress of the school environment. We also discuss the merits of on-site Chromebook repair.

Visit for show notes and resources.
Jan 4, 2017

This wide-ranging conversation with Elliot Soloway, Professor of education, engineering and information at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor was fun. Elliot is a passionate and insightful technologist and researcher who shares how we can collaborate with technology to solve hard problems.


Visit for show notes and resources. 

Jan 3, 2017

Elementary students CAN use technology! Jolanda Nederveld is an elementary teacher at Oriole Park elementary school in Wyoming, Michigan who teaches technology and media to grades K-4. Jolanda shares how Chromebooks in Elementary classrooms can provide marvelous learning opportunities and sets students up for future success.

Visit for show notes and resources. 


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