Monday, September 16, 2013

Need Your Advice—Chromebooks in Education

I learned at a recent parent-teacher conference that the computer's in my son's first grade classroom need to be upgraded. I'm talking with my son's teacher about using Chromebooks in the classroom in lieu of upgrading the current machines.

She is very open to the idea. I've even given her my Samsung ARM Chromebook to try out, get comfortable with, and see if she likes the concept.

I think this is a great idea for all the reasons we love Chromebooks:
  • Low cost. This means replacement costs are also low and the possibility of every child having their own is high.
  • Low maintenance. No complicated, bloated traditional desktop OS upgrades necessary.
  • Low burden of training. If you can surf the web and are familiar with the Chrome browser, you are good to go. 

No one in this environment will be:
  • Crunching millions of lines of data
  • Designing building plans
  • Producing the next hollywood movie

So there is no need for all the horsepower of a traditional desktop or laptop.

But all I have at this point is an idea of how Chromebooks might work in the classroom. What I'd like to have is a sense of the opportunities—and pitfalls—before any investment is made.

If you've experimented or are currently using Chromebooks in the classroom:
  • What's been your experience/impression overall?
  • What do you know now that you wished you had known when you started?
  • Are there any obstacles to anticipate?
  • Did you receive any pushback from parents or school administration?
  • How long did it take to get students acclimated to Chrome?
  • What impact did Chromebooks and access to the web have on teaching/learning?

What should be considered before we put Chromebooks in the classroom?

P.S. If we decide to move forward, I'll let you know how it goes.