At EdcampCT this past week, I was chatting with Greg McVerry (@jgmac1106) about devices, 1-1 and BYOD and he made an interesting comment. Instead of a school purchasing an iPad and keyboard for all the students, what about a Chromebook and Nexus 7 for each student?
I like this idea for a lot of reasons. An iPad starts at $500 and then add the case for $50 and keyboard for around $50 and you are at $600 for one device. Then add in any apps that are not free. A Chromebook starts at $300 and the Nexus 7 starts at $200. Add in a case for the Nexus 7 at $20 and you get two devices for just over $500. That's a great deal.
Account management is very easy with the Chromebooks and Nexus 7 using Google accounts for each student. Google Apps for Education would also be a great way to utilize these devices and provide excellent resources for the students and faculty and staff.
I would have the Chromebooks stay at school. Less for students to carry, less risk of damage or theft. Their data and files are all online so they can still access them anywhere. The Nexus 7 tablets could go home with the students. They are small, light, easy to use, and can be used at home for assignments, research, communications, and more. By having the two devices, students have backup. If they forget the Nexus 7 at home, it doesn't matter because they have the Chromebook at school.
One of the big concerns I have for 1-1 programs is that if students have one device, what happens when they lose it, have it damaged or stolen, or forget it somewhere?
Google apps and these two devices also making it easy, and very inexpensive, to do all the things students need to do. There is minimal support needed for the Nexus 7 from school staff and practically no support needed for the Chromebooks.
I'm a big fan of this idea and will be sharing it with my district.
What do you think?