Even with the release of sub $250 Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer, I must admit that I still don’t see Chrome OS as a viable computing platform for most use cases. However, I do feel that Chromebooks make excellent laptops for classroom use. In schools users don’t have to worry about connectivity, and kids can move from laptop to laptop and always have access to their data. Plus, they’re easy to administer.
Though Chromebooks are relatively inexpensive, many schools and districts still can’t afford them due to lack of funds. The irony is that students in school districts with little money need the benefits of laptops the most. This is why Google and Donors Choose have launched a program running through the holidays to help teachers and schools in need get Chromebooks for the classroom.
Google is offering teachers the chance to request Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks for $99 (retail $449). The Series 5 is a nice piece of hardware; great display, good keyboard, thin and light yet sturdy. The request goes up on DonorsChoose.org where anyone can donate money toward your goal. Teachers may request up to 30 Chromebooks for a classroom. Requests will be accepted through December 21, 2012. Teachers can get the process started by following these instructions.
If you’re not a teacher but would like to contribute, here’s the list of Chromebook projects. (There aren’t many yet since this initiative was just announced recently.) You don’t have to donate the whole $99, just give as much as you’re comfortable with — it all adds up. Whatever money you donate will go farther than normal since the Chromebooks are at such a huge discount.
To learn more about how teachers are using Chromebooks in schools and the benefits Chrome OS brings to education, go to Google’s Chromebooks at School Page.