When schools started originally eyeing steps to move towards the one to one (1:1) computer initiative about a decade or so ago, they were interested in having technology available for everyone. It was the goal of having one computer device available for every student that was in the school. This began with administration mostly interested in having this only for high school and junior high students. However, as the years have gone by, the 1:1 initiative has trickled down to include even younger students. Everyone is realizing that a proper education means that students need to exit school with the skills needed to succeed, and this means including more of technology. The world has been experiencing yearly technological advances in all fields, so presenting computers and other electronic devices to kids at a young age is a great way to better prepare them.
In the Beginning
When most school districts early on decided to go 1:1, they usually began with Apple products. Either Apple computers or iPads seemed like the most often choices that were made. After a few years, the districts realized that Apple products are expensive and often can be difficult for the school’s tech people to manage. Virtually anything can be downloaded to them and viruses and other problems can happen frequently. I was one of the leaders in two different districts for incorporating technology into the schools, and at times it seemed I was spending more time fixing the computers rather than using them. Plus, it was taking valuable time away from teaching. It wasn’t how I thought the incorporating of technology into the districts should happen.
A New Leader in School Technology
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Apple products. Many of us have iPhones and Mac Books and various other things created by this legendary company. However, as a parent or an educator, I would highly recommend switching over to Chromebooks. Listed below are just a few reasons why you should take another look at Chromebooks for your kids whether you are a teacher, administrator, or just a concerned parent that wants the best for their kid.
Simple and Fast to Use
The last thing you want to do in a classroom or at home is wait for the computer to load up, process, and turn on and off. It eats up valuable time and time is our most precious commodity. Chromebooks operate extremely fast and are easy to use. In addition, they are super lightweight. They won’t make you feel like you are lugging around a brick in your backpack like some other computer devices. The ease of use is one of the best things about Chromebooks as they can prevent downloading viruses and other things that will slow down your learning experience.
Your school tech guy will save so much time as Chromebooks can just update automatically without having to run around to each individual device. They will always be current and can be set to update in the middle of the night when they are not being used instead of in the middle of the class when it can halt all learning. Schools are able to manage access to the Chromebooks depending on age or subject. They can configure the settings so there is much more safety through filtering and monitoring internet usage. They can even set up the student’s email so they can only email with just their teachers and no one else. In today’s age, this type of security is essential.
Investment Is Minimal
More districts would look into doing a 1:1 initiative if they knew they could afford it. Almost all school districts seem to be financially strapped at the moment. However, this is where Chromebooks are head and shoulders above the rest. Without sacrificing performance, good Chromebooks can be purchased for about $150. This includes a high definition screen, quality keyboard, and very good audio.
Google Docs and Apps
Perhaps the biggest reason to invest in a Chromebook for your kid is simply Google Docs and Google Apps. Google Docs is entirely free to use and operates in the mystical and mysterious “cloud”. By using this, you don’t actually save your work on your computer, but rather in the cloud. The benefit of it is you can access these documents from any computer in the world and on any device if you just log into your account. Plus, you can “Share” it with your teacher or parent after you are finished without having to print off anything at all. No more forgotten homework as it can be completed on any computer either at home or at school. In addition, there are many educational and entertaining Google Apps that are free to use as well that will keep your kids learning through technology.