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Chromebooks for Education: Simple, secure computers for schools

Posted by Tom Mills, Enterprise Director, Education

One of the many great promises of technology is its ability to help level the playing field in education. It can give students the tools and skills they need to prepare for work in a world where technology will be integrated in our lives. But few schools today have the opportunity to provide computers in every classroom, or access for every student. Budget cuts and limited resources at many schools are real challenges; but devices can be more affordable and valuable than you might think.

Google worked with IDC1 on a sponsored white paper to quantify the value of Chromebooks for Education based on data from schools using Chromebooks. The key findings show promise for schools looking to implement technology without breaking their budget or asking teachers to serve as IT help desks.
  • Chromebooks require 69 percent less labor to install and 92 percent less labor to support, reducing the need to hire additional IT staff
  • Chromebooks reduce the per-device cost of ownership up to $935 over 3 years – a Chromebook deployed in school starts at $13.30 monthly
In addition to being affordable and easy for schools to manage, Chromebooks are also secure, fast and simple for students and teachers to get online and start collaborating using thousands of educational apps. They start up instantly, so they’re minimally disruptive to students when a great idea strikes (or when a teacher says “close your laptop”). They also have long battery life so creative minds aren’t tethered to a charger all day.

Teachers and administrators have told us that they have enjoyed knowledge sharing with other Chromebook schools around the country. In the spirit of expanding this community, we’d like to welcome a few of the newest members of the Chromebooks family:

Del Mar Union Elementary School District in California has implemented 700 Chromebooks in their eight elementary schools. This year 4-6 graders in two elementary schools have Chromebooks and the district plans to expand to all 4-6 grade students by next school year. Because Del Mar – one of the top-performing districts in the state – is focused on writing and the writing process to support “21st century skills” aligned with common core standards, they chose Google Docs as their primary curriculum tool. Docs allows students to easily share, communicate and collaborate on essays, responses to literature, and projects with their peers and teachers.

Milpitas Unified School District in California has purchased 1100 Chromebooks for students grades K-12. This year, Milpitas High School’s Digital Business Academy students have each been assigned their own Chromebook for the year that they are able to use in school and at home, replacing traditional textbooks. The district has also rolled out a true blended learning program in which elementary students rotate from a traditional classroom to a computer lab with Chromebooks throughout the day.

Lastly, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to Fort Sam Houston Independent School District in Texas, which will add 450 Chromebooks to students grades 9-12, the majority of whom are the children of military personnel living on the Fort Sam Houston Military Installation. And also to Chequamegon School District in Wisconsin, which has gone 1:1 with more than 380 Chromebooks in grades 4-8, including in their special education classroom, where students are engaging with educational web content such as YouTube and Khan Academy.

Learn more about how other districts and schools are harnessing the power of the Web in the classroom with Chromebooks for Education. Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive school year!

1IDC White Paper sponsored by Google, "Quantifying the Economic Value of Chromebooks for K-12 Education," Doc #236459, August 2012.