Plenty Of Tech Buzzwords, But Short On Evidence

Elise Ackerman:

Earlier this year, the Spring Cove School District in rural Pennsylvania decided to invest in more than 1,000 Chromebooks after they determined the devices would cost less than regular maintenance on the district’s existing computers. Superintendent Robert Vadella calculated that by replacing some of those computers with Chromebooks costing less than $399, the school district would save $54,000 a year over the course of a four-year upgrade.

I'd take a Chromebook over a Dell.

In Marshall, Wisconsin two employees were able to unpack and configure 500 Chromebooks in just three days. “They’re easy to set up: Just press ‘control, alt, e’ and they’re ready for a student,” Shane Millin, technology director, told EDTECH Magazine.

This is compared to a PC, right? After including the iPad in the headline, all the argument has been against the PC.

In 2012, the Leyden High School district in the Chicago suburbs distributed more than 3,500 Chromebooks to each of their students. The district considered netbooks but dismissed them for having finicky Internet connections and being slow and prone to freezing. IPads were passed over for their lack of a keyboard. The district was also worried that they’d have to hire staff to keep the devices updated.

Netbooks will go down as a black mark on the technology industry. It's what happens when the focus is soley on price. I'm confused on the hiring of staff? iPads are extremely simple to keep updated. It only takes 2-3 taps and the OS actually prompts you.

Gene Tognetti, the vice principal at St. Leo the Great in San Jose, CA also teaches 7th grade social studies. “The fact that Chromebooks turn on instantly makes a big difference in the classroom,” he said. “You don’t have to wait two or three minutes for the computer to grind away until it’s useable,” he said in an interview with Forbes.com. The fact that Chromebooks turn on quickly, also means he has no qualms about asking students to turn them off when he needs their full attention. Tognetti also praised Chromebooks’ eight-hour battery life, noting that they are still going strong at the end of the day

The iPad has the same advantage here (as does a MacBook Air on the battery).

Plenty of arguments have been made against Chromebooks. They don’t come with an extensive app ecosystem. They aren’t good for applications that require powerful clients, like video editing

So it's good for Google services? What else?

But for the educators I spoke to, none of these disadvantages mattered. What they were focused on was teaching kids what they called 21st Century skills—collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. For them, Chromebooks were the easiest and most economical way to achieve that goal.

I'm reading a lot of EdTech buzzwords, but no real life examples of impacting the classroom.

Link via @rsalermo