Friday, June 3, 2011

Google's Chromebook Plan Could Be the Answer to Updating Outdated Schools

Google's Chromebook Plan Could Be the Answer to Updating Outdated Schools

Google Chrome Notebooks are Going to Be the Game Changer in Education. Instead it was the the way in which they were selling it to schools. Devices can be counted on to work all the time and instantly replaced if they don't, hopes for such programs often dissipate quickly. 

If done right, the rumored plan could solve some major problems with how we use technology for learning in schools including:
1) Internet access at school
2) Internet access at home
3) Equipment repair and replacement
4) Imaging and reimaging
5) A way to purchase more devices with yearly school funding allocations
6) Students won't lose their work

This is because they are talking about selling schools subscriptions to their devices that includes instant replacement when necessary and 3G access on each device.  The plan isn't perfect, but it's changing the paradigm which is exactly what is necessary if we truly want to update outdated schools.

Purchase Plan
  • Consumers:  The price is expected to be on par with other notebook/netbook devices going for between $350 and $500 out front. 
  • School Enterprise:  Google will rent you a Chromebook for roughly $28-$31 per month for businesses, but is expected to charge about $20 per month for schools when signing on for a three-year commitment. That totals to about $720 over the course of the contract and you have no laptop to your name at the end of it. Depending on how you budget shakes out and how much you’re currently paying for a support infrastructure, that may or may not make fiscal sense for a school or district.
3G Access Plan
The 3G-equipped Chromebooks come with 100MB of mobile internet provided by Verizon Wireless for about $3 more per month according to Engadget.100MB isn’t a lot and certainly isn’t enough to allow you to get rid of your wireless network, but it’s not bad either for $3 a month. 

What 100MB Could Get You
100MB is pretty meager, but has some ideas around how this could be beneficial. 
  • With 3G-access, you could take a dozen Chromebooks with you on a field trip and create interactive and collaborative activities for your students. You’d have plenty of data for occasional visits to the school garden.
  • It might serve as a leveler for students without Internet access at home. 
  • It could fill in at wired schools when there are connectivity issues.
Device Imaging
There is little to no setup and no loading on an image with all of the necessary software and settings baked in. Connect it to wifi, log in with your Google account and you’re back in action. Kinney notes this is a tremendous advantage as with high-end computers, a colossal amount of time can be wasted wiping out hard drives and reloading images from external hard drives. 
 cloud computing chromebook school google chromebook

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