Our Board members and the district tech team in front of 2,000+ Chromebooks destined for every high schooler in SCPS. pic.twitter.com/BJCwP5qd47— Shelby Co Schools Ky (@shelbycountysch) July 23, 2015
I won't pretend that my reasons for why Chromebooks are a strong contender for your school or district’s digital conversion plan are terribly unique; just Google the question, and many of the following reasons will pop up. But I hope my thoughts on the subject and a few anecdotes will add something original to the discussion.
8. The cost of Chromebooks is lower than most devices. I deliberately put this one last, since price concerns should not be the main factor when picking devices. However, there is no denying this is an attractive feature of Chromebooks, which usually range from $200 to $300. (The difference in price is mainly due to local hard drive storage space for downloaded files and the speed of the device’s processor.) Also, Chromebooks choices are increasing; for example, a new model by Asus is a 10” touchscreen hybrid (Flip C100PA).
Before we leave this discussion, two final points to make.
First, be wary of thinking Chromebooks, or any one device, will be your "silver bullet." I briefly mentioned in #3 how Chromebooks can be a great complimentary device to existing edtech in your building. This is what I call "Garlic Necklace" thinking, and I expand on the concept in a previous blog entry.
Our superintendent Dr. Neihof believes strongly in the need for "deeper learning." In essence, deeper learning involves student self-directed mastery of multiple areas (content, collaboration, and communication) while maintaining an academic mindset. (It should be noted that education leaders need to be prepared for deeper learning as well.) This leads me to my second point. Technology is certainly a powerful means to this deeper learning, but is not the ends. We should be mindful as always that a Chromebook or iPad or access to GAFE is merely a vehicle on the pathway to deeper learning -- and without direction, a road map or intentionality, a vehicle might as well be in the garage.
Do you integrate Chromebooks prominently in your district or school? What are your thoughts on the device and its impact on student learning? Share in the Comments below.