For many people, school has already kicked off by now. Of course, the kids will likely still be disappointed about that, but that doesn’t mean things can’t be spiced up a bit. If you’re like me, you remember school as a boring place where you sit in classrooms all day reading from textbooks, only to find yourself with some more work to do when you get home. If I had access to a Chromebook back then, things would be much more enjoyable. Maybe my generation wasn’t that lucky, but it just so happens that that exact situation is coming to fruition for the current one. Several schools are beginning to give their students Google laptops for three whole years. Purely for education, of course…
Chromebooks for Education
Not too long ago, the Chrome laptop was reported to have started exploding in a few schools, metaphorically speaking. Thanks to the amazing features Chromebooks have, such as its incredible speed, security, and overall simplicity, it’s an ideal machine to help children learn faster, easier, and without losing their attention. Three schools around the US have stories to tell about their ventures into this new investment, and things sound pretty hopeful:
From Peter Iles of Grace Lutheran School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin:
Peter Iles – Principal, 7th & 8th Grade Teacher, and Tech Lead – tells us how Grace Lutheran School doesn’t always have the biggest budget. And with technology being so pricey these days, the school doesn’t always have much access to up-to-date tech. For them, low-cost, updated technology was a must. Thankfully for them, Google released their line of Chrome laptops – Chromebooks.
And since they needed to give their computer lab a makeover, they could either go with the Google laptops, a set of PCs, or the Windows loaner laptops. But since this school doesn’t have the most money in the world, those last two options, which would cost them tens of thousands of dollars up front (and that’s not even including the additional license fees and the ridiculous amount of time it would take to maintain a Windows server environment), were a no-go.
But not only was a set of Chrome laptops an obvious choice when the budget is low, but Chromebooks also excel at being educational. Thanks to Google Apps for Education, children at that school have never learned easier. From English to Math, this Google laptop have enough apps to make any learning environment easier, more enjoyable, and more thorough, all at the same time.
From Tina Heizman of Merton Community School District in Merton, Wisconsin:
Tina Heizman – Director of Information Technology – tells us how the 110 6th grade students of Merton Community School had Chromebooks outright handed to them. That’s right, these kids get to keep them. Well…only until the end of their 8th grade year. But still, that’s a pretty good deal, if you ask me. And these 110 Chrome laptops aren’t just given to them for three whole years, but they get the 3G versions to boot! That’s quite a steal…
Just like with Peter, Tina also loves how much Chromebooks advance the learning experience of children, thanks to Google Apps for Education. And since the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction had just been finalizing their statewide agreement for Google Apps for Education, Tina thought Chromebooks were a perfect addition for her school.
Since these Google laptops don’t need so much maintenance attention, thanks to it’s amazing simplicity keeps those types of problems away, more important things can be taken care of, such as learning. Another feature these Chrome laptops are known for is an incredible sense of speed. In the past, that school had to deal with the slowness of regular Netbooks, as well as the hardware problems they often run into, and now they can get to whatever they need, whenever they need it. And not only is the Google laptop superfast, but the battery life is so amazingly long that a student can have it on the whole school day without it dying.
From Ced Paine of the Fessenden School in West Newton, Massachusetts:
Ced Paine – Director of Technology – tells us how Fessenden School received Chromebooks as a way to make things more convenient for them. Teachers can reserve them for their lessons while students can use them to create and collaborate with each other on projects. In fact, these Chrome laptops have pretty much revolutionized how students learn at this school, thanks to the many educational apps that they have readily available.
Students and teachers get two carts of Chromebooks that they can reserve from. Not only that, but they can also go up to the school library and borrow one from there. Ced mentions how they would eventually “like all students in 5th through 9th grades to have their own Chromebook.” This is an amazing feat to accomplish, if they manage. If all the students throughout those five years had a Google laptop, there’s no doubt that those kids would be learning better than ever.
Chrome Laptop into the Classroom
These Google laptops are no doubt useful. With such amazing features, it’s no wonder these three schools feel the need to incorporate Chromebooks into their learning environments. In time, maybe every school will bring these Chrome laptops into the classroom. But whether or not you get the privilege of having a Chromebook handed to you like these three schools do, buying one yourself is a good investment.
These Google laptops are beginning to make learning fun, so if you have a birthday coming up, why not ask your parents for a Chromebook? It’s a good way to get a laptop that your parents will likely approve of. That is, of course, as long as you specify that it’s mainly for learning purposes…