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. 

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