Posted by Susan Sison on Apr 6, 2016 7:00:00 AM
Have you heard the latest on Chromebooks in K-12 schools?
Expert analysis has shown that with $2.25 billion in E-RATE funding available yearly, applications for that funding work out to almost triple the money available. When schools get through the rigorous application process and benefit from the funding, they have a duty to make sure it is well-invested – but there are many options, and they have unclear results.
In a world where mobile Internet technology is proliferating fast, it can be hard to figure out what resources will truly enhance the learning experience. Enter the Chromebook: The special laptop designed by Google that’s driving a quiet revolution in instructional technology. Chromebooks in K-12 are making an impact.
Chromebooks offer unusual advantages and address some of the key drawbacks of laptops in the classroom. Their unique design makes them attractive to the whole learning community: Students, teachers, parents, and administrators. So, what’s behind the recent spate of Chromebooks in K-12 classrooms? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Chromebook and How is It Different?
The usual price of a “starter” laptop puts it out of reach of many school districts that would like to empower students with technology they may not be able to access at home. Chromebook, by Google, takes a new approach that leverages the latest innovations in online technology. A Chromebook is intended to be used online, and most of its software lives in the cloud.
Because it is purpose-built, a Chromebook doesn’t need a huge hard drive, high-powered RAM, or even a smoking hot next-generation graphics card. This significantly reduces the investment per device, making it possible to equip an entire class – or even an entire school – at a fraction of the cost of other laptops.
Even in the consumer market, a Chromebook costs around $249. When exploring Chromebooks in K-12, schools are able to achieve substantial bulk discounts that make them even more attractive.
Chromebooks in K-12: The Biggest Advantages of the Chromebook in Class
In districts throughout the U.S,, the sight of Chromebooks in K-12 classes is becoming much more common. Chromebook is outpacing the alternatives and changing the way learning is done. Beyond the attractive price point, there are many good reasons teachers and administrators appreciate this sleek, compact little device:
It Offers Full Access to 1:1 Instructional Technology
Chromebook connects all students to the kind of 1:1 instructional applications that are making a big difference in learning outcomes. Classes can participate in various forms of online instruction and enrichment activities fully compatible with today’s learning management systems.
It Reduces Potential for Classroom Distraction
Because Chromebook doesn’t come with powerful graphics hardware or a big built-in hard drive, it’s difficult for students to run modern games even if they can access them. That translates to less chance students will use the Chromebook to goof off and disengage. It is truly a learning tool!
It Provides Strong, Yet Simple Security Measures
Total cloud compatibility is integrated into the design of every Chromebook. Chromebooks in K-12 classrooms are easy to administer: A single IT expert can monitor usage, control access, and protect the hardware against loss or compromise. That strengthens the school's security posture while helping control cost of ownership.
It Grants Protection Against Common Issues
Because Chromebooks use the Google Chrome OS, they are not susceptible to the full range of malicious software designed to impact Windows-based systems. Plus, their streamlined design helps extend the device’s functional life. Chromebooks in K-12 might last through the student's whole academic career.
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