Blank gif
Section1
An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
Search Internet@Schools
Subscribe Today!

View Current Issue
View Past Issues

Internet @ Schools

Chromebook

By Sally Finley - Posted Mar 1, 2015
Bookmark and Share

Company: Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043; 650-253-0000; google.com/chromebook

Price: Pricing for Chromebooks is available from the company at google.com/chromebook or 650-253-0000.

Audience: Grades K–12.

Format: Chromebook is a laptop computer consisting of one application that boots directly to the internet.

System Requirements: Wi-Fi access is necessary to connect to the internet.

Description: Chromebook is a laptop running Chrome OS as its operating system. It connects directly to the internet, and all documents are filed in the cloud.

 

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

 

Reviewer Comments:


Installation/Access: Access to the internet is as simple as turning on the Chromebook. Installation: A

Content/Features: Chromebooks have a customized keyboard with buttons that open and control multiple browser windows. Shortcut keys replace some traditional function keys. A web search button replaces the Caps Lock key. Caps lock can be activated using both alt+search.

Most applications and data reside in the cloud.

Browse with Chrome on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. There are built-in security and privacy features that make antivirus software unnecessary.

The user can sync Chrome bookmarks, browsing history, extensions, and settings to devices by signing in to his or her Google account.

Although Chromebooks are designed to be used when connected to the internet, users are able to access Google applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Drive in the offline mode.

Included in Chromebooks are a built-in music player, a photo editor, and a PDF and Microsoft Office document viewer that are functional without internet access. Other apps with offline support include Amazon’s Cloud Reader, The New York Times App, and Angry Birds. Google Play video content is available offline using an extension to the Chrome browser.

Chromebooks boot with the help of Coreboot, a fast-booting and free BIOS. Battery time runs from 6.5 to 9 hours, depending on the model.

The USB port supports a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter, and USB storage, but not a printer. However, using Google Cloud Print, the user can send files to a printer. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: The Chromebook connects directly to the internet. It is easy to travel with and starts up quickly. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Browse with Chrome on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Stay safe online with built-in security and privacy features. Sign in to your Google account to sync Chrome bookmarks, browsing history, extensions, and settings to your devices. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: The Chromebook is rapidly becoming an invaluable tool in schools around the country. It provides a cost-effective solution to providing all students access to technology. Students have quick and easy access to resources on the internet. Updates are automatic, and no patches are required. Chromebook can be used anywhere, anytime. No backups are required since all student work is filed in the cloud.

When used in conjunction with Google for Education, Chromebook is an excellent tool in the classroom. Teachers appreciate the paperless environment of Google for Education that allows them to create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place. An assignment page displays all student work and files class materials into folders in Google Drive. Classroom was designed hand-in-hand with Google Apps for Education teachers to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students. It is available to anyone with a Google Apps for Education account at classroom.google.com.

There are no ads, and Google for Education is free for schools. Chromebook used in conjunction with Google for Education is a viable option for classroom teachers who work with limited resources. Students at all levels will benefit from using Chromebook with Google for Education tools. Highly Recommended

Reviewer: Sally Finley is an educational consultant based in Coral Springs, Fla. Her email address is sallyfinley1@yahoo.com.


 
Blank gif