There is no doubt that technology has had a significant impact in education. In our previously published post, How Important is Technology in Education, we highlight some of the reasons why technology is not only unavoidable, but also a good thing.
Acknowledging that technology is important in education then opens a floodgate of other questions and opportunities. With so many options available, it can get quite confusing. Today, I hope to cut through some of the fog by addressing one the the major questions which is, "should I get Chromebooks or laptops for my classroom?" Let's start by answering the question, what are the differences between Chromebooks and laptops?
Chromebook vs Laptop
While Chromebooks look like laptops, they operate very differently. The primary difference is the operating system. According to Google, laptops run on operating systems such as Windows, Linux, or OS X while Chromebooks run off of a faster and simpler operating system, Chrome OS.
Laptops provide a more upgradable and complex computing experience while Chromebooks provide a standard, what you buy is what you get, experience.
Laptops can run applications while Chromebooks run solely off of web based programs.
There are more technical differences, but I think highlighting the differences above suffice for comparing the two for educational reasons. Pine Cove Consulting recommends our clients use Chromebooks in the classrooms for two main reasons:
Reason 1: Chromebook Classroom Management
The first and foremost reason we suggest Chromebooks over laptops to our clients, is the fact that they are much easier to manage. When a laptop isn't functioning properly it can be attributed to a lot of different problems due to their complexity. Diagnosing the computer, determining the solution, and implementing a fix all take a lot of time and can be extremely expensive. On the other hand, because of the simplicity of Chromebooks, if something isn't working properly it is almost always because the machine was dropped or physically broken. This is advantageous for the classroom because it saves time, money and labor.
Bottom line: In the Chromebook vs laptop debate, Chromebooks provide for easier management for administration.
For more information about Chromebook Classroom Management visit our recently published article ,Chromebook vs Laptop | Chromebook Classroom Management.
Reason 2: Price
Schools operate on tight budgets. If you work in administration or as a teacher then you don't need me telling you this. If you are looking for ways to cut back costs, then Chromebooks just may be your solution.
Schools that use laptops in the classroom end up paying anywhere between $600-$1000 per laptop.
Schools that use Chromebooks in the classroom end up paying between $200-$400 per Chromebook.
If this initial investment isn't enough to convince you that you're saving money, then check out this tool from Google that can show you the cost difference between chromebooks and laptops for things like hardware maintenance, IT software and infrastructure, management and administrative overhead, and end-user costs.
If you're currently servicing your students with laptops, you're looking at saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few years by making the switch to Chromebooks.
Bottom line: Sacrificing the time spent diagnosing technology problems and headaches for your IT specialist, in exchange for saving a lot of money seems like a good bet for your classroom.
You can do a lot with laptops. You can download any app you want and upgrade it anyway you want. Do you really need it though? With Chromebooks you can easily integrate your system into either/both Microsoft 365 or Google Suite while completing every application based program you rely on, in a web based substitute. We recommend schools use Chromebooks in the classroom for simplicity, ease of use, ease of management, and of course, saving money.
Want to learn more about how Pine Cove Consulting can help your school? Download the Savage Public Schools case study HERE.
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