Chromebooks are laptops that run Google’s Chrome operating system, and while they’re useful tools for anyone looking for an inexpensive laptop for accessing the web, they’re especially useful in business and education settings. That’s because Chromebooks store your user data and settings online, so one Chromebook is pretty much interchangeable with another — just login with your username and password to pick up where you left off on another machine.
So it probably shouldn’t be surprising that a growing number of schools are trying o out Chromebooks. Google says there are now 2,000 schools using Chrome OS laptops.
Just 3 months ago, that number was at 1,000.
It’s not clear exactly how many Chromebooks are in the hands of students – each school is using a different number of devices, but in a blog post on the topic, Google highlights several schools using a thousand units or more.
While there are certainly some disadvantages to Chromebooks (they don’t run native desktop apps such as Office, iTunes or Photoshop, and many web apps won’t work if you don’t have an internet connection), they have some advantages for schools.
They’re some of the most secure laptops around – it’s hard to accidentally download and install malware when you’re not downloading and installing much of anything.
Thanks to the streamlined operating system, Chromebooks tend to boot quickly and resume from sleep nearly instantly, so students don’t have to sit and wait for their laptops to load before they can participate in a lesson.
And in addition to allowing students to surf the web, Chromebooks can run virtually any web app or Chrome add-on that’s available for the Chrome web browser on a Windows or Mac computer.
This would be very good for school but lousy for any power user because all you can do with it is browse the web. You can’t play quake 3 or cave story on it.
“They’re some of the most secure laptops around – it’s hard to
accidentally download and install malware when you’re not downloading
and installing much of anything.”
Windows with Standard User and App Locker (deny all) is every bit as secure as anything out there. MS has done a poor job communicating with the average customer about what are good security practices, but “experts” in these schools should know better!
I’d be interested to know the cost over a 5-10 year period with ChromeOS vs Windows. There’s still no word on how long Google or it’s partners will support a given piece of hardware. A $200 laptop sounds great, but not if you can only use it for 2-3 years.
Did Google give these Chromebooks away?
There is a reason for that. Around Christmas Google made a push to offer them for cheap on donors choose. Principals sent out notices to teachers. The teachers at my school asked me if it was worth getting. They did not realise that a chrome book did not run Windows. No one at my school asked for them. I would guess most of these are in teacher’s hands with confused teachers who do not know what they got. I would not be surprised if Google themselves funded the chrome books once the teachers asked on donors choose.
2000 schools where? Worldwide? US? UK? Without some context, it’s not a useful figure.
If you click through to the source, you’d see that the number is worldwide.
I honestly love my Chromebook and think its a great idea for students to use this (as I am one).
Same here. I have had several of the models and they are all pretty solid albeit the earliest one, the CR-48 was a bit slow.
I am a dev and use the Chromebook when I’m doing writing on manager-like stuff. 6 hours battery life at a conference really can’t be beat.
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