Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chromebooks as an Inexpensive Alternative for Schools

It is interesting to me that schools are willing to pay a great deal of money for tablets when laptops can do more.  The problem, of course, is that many see laptops as being even more expensive.  A number of teachers in my county would love to move to Chromebooks (which is taking a while for approval as we are a huge district).  But Chromebooks, as you can see in the video above are cheap ($200-350) laptops that range from 11 to 15".  They are inexpensive because they are essentially online devices.  Yes you have some space on the laptop and yes you can now work offline on Google Drive documents, but think about what you do on your laptop.  How often are you not connected to the Internet?  If we truly want our students to be prepared for the 21st century then they all need devices in school.

Chromebooks utilize the strength of Google Drive, but you can also use Microsoft's OneDrive (which recently changed names from SkyDrive).  I have been using online documents for four years and will admit that I used to download them onto my school's server, but at some point I just stopped as I realized that Google does a better job of safely backing up my work than my school district (who also does a great job).  I also want to be able to access my work anywhere (hey I love my job and work a lot of evenings and weekends) and don't want to have download VPN on every laptop and/or have to be married to one device.

So if you are interested, here is a link to purchasing Chromebooks on Amazon.  A number of schools also lease them for three years (which is essentially the life of a computer anyway).  Since it is a web based device all of the updates are down automatically and of course improvements to Google Drive or for that matter OneDrive are also automatic. 


George Coe said...

In addition,Chromebooks come on instantly and have a 5 to 6 hour battery life. School laptops take 10 minutes to come on and and battery life at best is 1 to 2 hours.

Nick Kilstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Kilstein said...

Thanks for posting this. I teach at a tech heavy, affluent BYOD school, but my roots are in high poverty education. That's also where I plan on returning, eventually.

I have found that of all tech initiatives, the one that really enhances student learning in a way that would be hard to duplicate with pens and paper is Google Docs. It makes collaboration easier, and feedback much more immediate, targeted, and constant.

Internet access, too, is extremely helpful. Kids can research everyday without having to go to the library. With this comes an enhanced ability to teach source analysis/source credibility gauger.

Chromebooks would be a boon if properly used.

Sandra Lee said...

I think today's education need to find all new inventions and use them to increase the level of education and decrease the cost of it. Because the government is just reducing funding, so schools need to find other sources of income and reduce spending. I think students need such 'books' and parents can take payday loans online UK just to buy it right now. This short-term loan can help you to cover unexpected spending and do not ruin your budget.