St. Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic prep school in Florida, is one of more than 2,000 schools to adopt Chromebooks for education, according to Google's Global Education Evangelist Jaime Casap.
Florida's annual Technology in Education Conference educators explained that any shift to Google Chromebooks have three important positive facts - enabling tech support internships, allowing homebound students to collaborate remotely, and teaching students to become digital leaders.
The main reason why Chromebooks are so in with schools is the price. There are five models of Chromebooks that are available and it starts at $199 per unit. Google has estimated that any school can save about $4,000 per deployed device over three years of ownership. It effectively lowers the cost in IT department expenses and lessens effort to maintain due to Chrome OS seamless automatic updates.
The Chrome OS also utilises Web-based consoles which users can see admin changes easily to apps in multiple classrooms. A Chromebook has also an appealing part when it comes to security and speed. It performs a self-check upon boot up to make sure that no tampering has occurred and it never requires spyware or anti-virus tools. The device relies on the Google's cloud-based services such as Gmail and Google Docs and more apps for education in Chrome Web Store.
None of these apps are traditionally installed locally inside the device. Chromebooks have a very lightweight operating system platform that boots up under 10 seconds. And with Google's 100GB cloud storage on Google Drive, it brings out another advantage which outweighs other PCs and iPads.
Features of Chromebook devices:
- Optimized for Web's educational resources and integration.
- Very manageable especially for IT administrators.
- Maximum savings of at least $4,000 per device in three years.
- Automatic updates from Google.
- Web applications to the latest educational tools.