- Tausif Mulla
8 reasons why Educators and Students should get Chromebook
Recently, Google unveiled its second Chromebook called the "Pixelbook". Since then, a lot buzz has been created over Chromebooks. So what are Chromebooks and why should educator and students get one?
A Chromebook is a laptop that runs on Google’s very own operating system called “Chromium OS”. The laptops were initially designed to be used only with internet connectivity as the majority of applications such as Gmail, Sheets, Docs, etc are all cloud-based applications.
Initially, when Chromebooks were launched not many laptop brands were keen to adopt the chromium OS except few like Acer and Samsung. Over the years, the adoption rate by the laptop manufacturers has soared to new heights, all thanks to the education sector. Google had framed a clear road map for its Chromebooks with education industry at the center. Schools in the US started adopting Chromebooks as more and more district went 1:1 (one Chromebook for one student). This adoption by the schools in the US gave the early signs to other manufacturers to adopt Chromium OS and start producing Chromebooks for the larger audience. Today, you have all laptop brands such as Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc that have added Chromebooks as the new product line in their product mix.
If you are an ardent Apple fan, you might find it difficult to digest the fact that Chromebooks outsold Macs for the first time in 2016. Gartner has predicted that the growth will reach 16.3% by the end of 2017. In 2016, schools in the US brought 5.4 million Chromebooks for the use in the classroom. You may have a question in your mind, why are schools moving towards Chromebooks? The answer to that is very simple, cost to the school. When a school adopts a laptop / PC it's the only cost that is incurred, there is an additional cost of the operating system (OS). With Chromebooks, you only pay for the laptop as the Chromium OS is free of cost and comes inbuilt.
8 reasons on why you should use a Chromebook?
1) Low Prices: Be it a student or an educator, the price is definitely one of the top criteria when it comes to purchasing decision. Chromebooks are known to be very cost effective. Have a look this chart:
Only the Pixelbook crosses the mark of $1000 rest all the Chromebooks are in the price range of below $549. The starting range is $159 offered by Lenovo which should be a good choice for students who have basic tasks to do such as surfing the web, video content, assignments, etc.
2) Long Battery Life: My personal reason to buy a Chromebook is definitely the long battery life it offers. Even the most budget Chromebook will offer a battery life of 6 hours and above. The new pixel book 2 offers a battery life of 12 hours and above.
3) Ease of use: Since these laptops run on Google Chromium OS, ease of use has become the unique selling proposition (USP) for Chromebooks. A kid in the second grade can use a Chromebook without any adult supervision, thanks to device management.
4) Security: We all have been in a situation where our laptops got infected with a virus that got transferred with the data copied from the USB drive. With Chromebooks, you don’t have to worry about viruses anymore. All Chromebooks have built-in security measures developed by the tech giant Google. Chrome OS is well-guarded against all the viruses, phishing, etc out there on the web
5) Google Apps: The best part about owning a Chromebook it is accessible to millions of apps straight from Google Play store. All the models that were released in 2017, had play store installed out of the box. As a student or an educator you will be able to improve and enhance your productivity with google apps such as Drive, Keep, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, etc.
6) Offline use: Chromebooks are designed with the CLOUD in mind.There are more than 200 offline chrome apps that can work without internet connectivity. Apps such as Drive, Gmail, Docs, Kami, Google Drawings, Slack, etc.
7) Google Assistant: Having a virtual assistant is a cool idea, isn’t it? A virtual assistant comes handy when you are working on multiple tasks like assignments, lesson plans, presentations, case studies, etc. With Google Assistant, you can simply share or even learn more about the topic. You just need to hold your stylus on the text and your Google Assistant gets activated. For now, this feature is only for Google Pixelbook but will be rolled out with all future Chromebooks starting 2018.
8) Durability: Most Chromebooks pass the military durability test that includes fall from a height of up to 4 feet, water spillage on keypad and screen tampering. The Acer Chromebook 14 can even survive extreme temperatures (minus 20.2 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), humidity, vibration, rain, sand, and dust.
Watch this durability test video by Acer
Chromebooks are productive devices that are affordable and offers decent performance. With the introduction of Android apps to Chromebooks, I see more educators and students opting for it.