Chromebooks have become extremely popular in the world of education because of their ease of access and affordability. “Google” schools that utilize Chromebooks provide students with a gmail account (which also comes with Google Drive!) and a chromebook. There are MANY Chromebook models from which to choose, ranging from about $279 through $429. At first, the cost of providing every student in a building with a Chromebook may be slightly terrifying. However, when one considers the amount of money spent on textbooks per student (using Chromebooks can eliminate the need for traditional textbooks), paper and printing costs (going 1:1 with Chromebooks can create a cloud-based classroom with no need for printing), the Chromebooks really are an effective tool for students and teachers alike.
As I’ve said before, my building will become a 1:1 learning environment next year, and we have chosen to go the Chromebook route. If you’ve read my post about iPads as instructional tools, you will surely see that I am an iPad freak! When we originally discussed a 1:1 initiative, I was a huge advocate for providing students with iPads. However, when you look at the huge price (Apple doesn’t offer much of an education discount), the lack of keyboard, and the fact that many web programs don’t run the same on an iPad app as they would in a typical setting, I jumped on the Chromebooks for students bandwagon! (I will still most definitely use my iPad as an instructional tool in my classroom!)
We have decided to purchase the Lenovo Thinkpad X131e Chromebook model for our teachers next year. At first glance, the Lenovo is the most expensive (and least visually appealing) Chromebook model, so why are we going this route? Simple. The Lenovo model has a VGA port that will allow our teachers to connect their projector with the Chromebook. Even though we will be tethered to our desk, at least we will be able to project from our Chromebooks and interact with our students. (Teachers could also interact with their students from their desktop using Google apps if the Lenovo isn’t an option)
Our students will each be receiving the Samsung Chromebook which is priced at $279. We feel like this is the best purchase for us because the device is light, boots up in 8 seconds, and the battery is somewhat easy to replace…and, of course, it is priced right!
We will be scanning our textbooks into Google Drive, chapter by chapter. Teachers will then be able to “share” the chapters with our students, making traditional heavy, bulky textbooks obsolete.
These links provide awesome information about using Chromebooks in the classroom!
Teachers are also encouraged to compile outside resources to supplement our textbooks. We are encouraging teachers to incorporate literacy as much as possible into our curriculum, to prepare our students for the new ACT requirement in our state. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, students will not be required to take AS many End of Course exams (EOCs). However, every junior will be required to take the ACT, which now incorporates reading, reading comprehension, and textual analysis into all of the components!
On a side note…the site below has awesome information about incorporating literacy into the classroom!
The video below provides excellent information about using Google Chromebooks to “flip” your classroom.
Chromebooks in the News