Chromebooks: EDU’s Next Big Thing?

Google has been aggressively placing its presence in the Education learning place.  With Google Apps being used heavily and extremely successful, they have now increased their push of chrome books into the classroom.

The web-only laptops will use only the Google operating system and will fundamentally reinvent what computers are. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are skeptical. It is worth remembering though, that the iPad was similarly met with a barrage of criticism and did change how we think about computers. But will Google’s idea tread the same path? Here are some of the factors to consider when introducing chrome books to your Education place.

  • Chrome books don’t work with Apple products such as your iPad and iPhone.  The millions of students whom own an iPhone, iPad and iPod will not be able to use the Chromebook with those devices. That is one task the Chrome book can’t perform, and it is unlikely it ever will. That means students will either need to user their iPad or Chrome book. Not both. Perhaps though you don’t need and/or want your students to be able to use their devices with the school computers for many reasons. However, with the push for the BYOD initiative that can change the landscape of what students use in the classroom.
  • Chrome books are high in price and don’t have existing windows software, comparable software, and share applications. Do schools want to pay as much for such a light client device as they do for a fully loaded notebook running a traditional OS like Microsoft Windows? The Chrome book Series 5 is powered by a 1.66GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, and has a 16GB mSATA solid-state drive and 2GB of RAM. Those are netbook parts in a machine that’s priced at the level of low-end notebooks.
  • Finally Chrome books have no hard drive. You can’t download them and move them somewhere else. You can’t change services. You have nowhere to go.

This is a lot of power to give one company, isn’t it?  However, if you looking for an alternative to Windows and iPad orientation, you then should explore chrome books. They could possibly bring many benefits to the learning experience of students.

Read more about Google Apps: “GoogleApps for Education: Weighing the hidden time factor!

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