iPads are all the rage in education. I have my iPad and iTouch too, but after several months of exploration, I’m not convinced they’re the right device for education...at least when it comes to secondary education. Despite the protests of Apple to the contrary, I see them as great devices for consuming information and even drag and tap interactions, but for real creation, the full functionality of a laptop with flash access reigns number one. Today, there’s a new device in town, and this one has me more excited for education.
If you're like me and you already love Google for education (Apps, products, marketplace et.al.), than you’ll be excited to learn that Google is entering the educational computing market with Chrome notebooks which are built and optimized for the web, where digital natives want to spend their computing time. Because it is browser based, you get a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers. The devices come complete with webcam for video chat, a vibrant 12-inch LCD display, full-size keyboard and an oversized touchpad which let you enjoy the web comfortably. It weighs in at just 3.8 pounds, provides over eight hours of active usage and a week of standby time.
Here are some of the advantages it provides over other computing options:
- Experience waitlessness.
Google cleverly promises users the experience of waitlessness, meaning you never have to wait for the web.
- Instant web
Chrome notebooks boot in about 10 seconds and resume from sleep instantly. Your favorite websites load quickly and run smoothly, with full support for the latest web standards and Adobe Flash.
- Same experience everywhere
All your apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud. So even if you lose your computer, you can just log into another Chrome notebook and get right back to work.
- Always connected
Integrated Wi-Fi for home and work, and 3G for all the places in between. 100MB of free 3G data every month* on the Verizon Wireless network. Affordable data plans with no commitment required.
Here’s a video that shows how Chrome Notebooks make computing simpler.
- Here is teacher feedback from one school that has launched these devices. Here is teacher feedback from a second school.
- Here is a piece inspired by this post written by Steve Kinney. He does a much better job than I did of evaluating this device. Check it out here.
- Here are words from Google CEO Eric Schmidt about price point and future of the device.
- And, if you’re not sure why it’s all that important for Educators to Get Their Heads INTO The Clouds read this.
Lisa Nielsen is best known as creator of The Innovative Educator blog http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com and Transforming Education for the 21st Century http://ted21c.ning.com learning network. Lisa is an outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education. She is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on "Thinking Outside the Ban" and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students. Based in New York City, Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities helping schools and districts to educate in innovative ways that will prepare students for 21st century success. Her first book “Teaching Generation Text” is set for a fall 2011 release. You can follow her on Twitter @InnovativeEdu.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.