Thursday, February 16, 2017
Technology is now pervasive in classrooms across New Zealand. The benefits of learning using technology as an aid is significant. This means most students now need a device as part of their stationery.
What are the technology options available to offer your children? Most portable options available are restricted either to a tablet or Windows / Apple laptop. Tablets are great for consumption of content but are not great data input devices. When it comes to laptops, you’ll inevitably end up spending a lot more money for an Apple or Windows laptop when all the students really want is to run basic and essential software like Word and Excel. Other significant issues especially with Windows laptops is that they inevitably slow down and can get plagued with virus and spyware.
This is where Google’s chromebook laptops perfectly fit what students really need. They do away with a typical operating system and are pretty much a Chrome browser that runs all the software your child will ever need. Here are some of the advantages of picking up a Chromebook over a regular laptop or tablet.
Chromebooks start at around $200, far cheaper than most laptops, which start at around $500. They’re a realistic acquisition for schools and Google’s Apps For Education (AFE) services are free to all schools, public or private. Many schools around New Zealand, are acquiring Chromebooks. Chromebooks are cheap because they don’t contain any expensive laptop parts, which normally jack up the price of the laptop and make them more expensive. With a Chromebook, all you get is the device, and it boots up instantly. All you need is a Google account to get started. Newer Chromebooks even allow you to install Android apps from the Play store.
ChromeOS Security Worries? None to Be Found
Chromebooks are cloud-based, built to run exclusively by browser (Google Chrome), with no installations. This unique design allows for no security issues or worries. With ChromeOS, the Chromebook doesn’t require any active firewalls, or anti-virus/anti-malware software. File encryption? Not necessary with a Chromebook. So you can junk that old Norton 360 Security CD you have lying around, because with a Chromebook, that won’t be necessary.
Ease of Use
Chromebooks are lightweight, portable, they boot up in seconds and have batteries that last approximately 8 hours. What more could you want? Whenever there’s a new software update, Chromebooks automatically update in the background, so there’s no waiting around. Schools control access to Chromebooks, and can be designed for both staff and students. The range of different apps that can be used with Chromebooks are vast, and will only get bigger as time progresses. Teachers can view usage, as well as mark each individual child’s grades using Google Classroom, a system that ties together each school and its classes. Schools have the option of filtering content, so there’s no worries about whether your child is messing around in class, or doing work.
Facilitation of Collaboration
Chromebooks enhance student communication, and communication with their teachers. Gmail, calendars and video conferencing all allow students to connect with each other, and keep up with their assignments. Chromebooks allow students to work together on Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets, completing all manner of assignments. Access to work can be found anywhere with an internet connection. So simple, even a child could use it.
Unlimited Users and Uses in Education
Apps are attached to user profiles, the same Chromebook can be used by multiple people. Every person has their own unique profile and learning experience when they log in to their apps, settings, classwork, books, videos, and files. Chromebooks can easily be shared by multiple family members, and since security isn’t a worry, there’s no risk of unwanted software being invited onto the computer. Guests can also use the same Chromebook, but aren’t able to access any personal files, or save their work when finished.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you should buy a Chromebook, whether for yourself, or a beloved family member. Whether it be the constant security worries that plague your laptop, or the pricelessness of your iPad, the Chromebook line of laptops solve all those problems.