Saturday, February 11, 2012

The #Chromebook Classroom

This week I spent a couple of days at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA learning more about Google's plans for the Chrombook. Joining me were 25 educators and resellers from around the country. It was a good crowd of familiar Google Certified Teachers and Apps Certified Trainers. The Google Apps for Ed team (Dana Nguyen, Jaime Casap, and Cristin Frodella) were our hosts and were awesome as always!

While there are things that I can't share (NDA and all...), there are some big ideas that are worth noting:

1. Google is investing a lot of time, energy, and resources into the the Chrome web browser, Chrome OS, and the Chromebook. Chrome OS will NOT be the next Google Wave!

2. Chrome OS is NOT about the device. The entire goal of Chrome OS is to make the device transparent. In an odd way, Google is not pushing their hardware, they are trying to make hardware obsolete.

3. Google is heavily promoting HTML5 because it is more secure, less dependent on hardware configurations, and can work on a variety of form-factors (tablets, handhelds, laptops, etc). Developers are beginning to see the value in investing in HTML5 because they no longer need to develop apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, etc. HTLM5 apps work on all devices.

4. Google listens very intently to its customers. If there is something that you don't like about a Google product, let them know! Google's ability to rapidly update and modify its products is remarkable. Considering their size, Google's customer service is excellent.

There will be some exciting announcements from Google in the coming months. They are intent on providing educators with a device that is affordable, fast, and optimized for learning.

Interested in learning more about the Chromebook and how you can get them into the hands of your students? Contact me to setup a demo or attend a free Chromebook workshop!


7 comments:

  1. I sense a coming showdown between Chromebooks and iPads, and I'm excited for the battle royale! I think Google has a much more sustainable model if they can provide enough local storage on the machines to be able to "untether" from the network when needed, given the ability to access your apps and content across many devices instead of just one or two iOS devices.

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  2. Love the whole google chrome concept, but still can't get my three year proposal funded by my school. I will be watching the announcement for possible variations in pricing scheme so that independent small schools without district,etc. funding, can make the leap. I hope it comes soon!

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  3. On the verge of signing our Chromebook acquisition. Google does really need to smarten up its business practices however. There's a lot of confusion in the Chromebooks space. It's quite astounding.

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  4. Peter: yes, there is a lot of confusion, but that's how Google works. They launch into "beta" and figure things out. They'll get it worked out...with our help!

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  5. The Chromebook has many benefits for education. However some institutions will still require access to Windows applications. In order to extend the benefits of Chromebooks schools will need to provide quick and easy browser-based access to these Windows applications and also to virtual desktops. Ericom AccessNow provides this support and enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Servers, physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops – and run Windows applications and desktops within a browser window, without having to install anything on the user device.

    Here's an example of a large school district that is using Ericom AccessNow to provide thousands of students and staff access to Windows applications from Chromebooks, iPads and other devices:
    http://www.ericom.com/pr/pr_111206.asp?URL_ID=708

    Ericom also offers special pricing for education customers.

    For more info, and to download a demo, visit:
    http://www.ericom.com/html5_RDP_Chromebook.asp?URL_ID=708

    Note: I work for Ericom

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  6. John, Can you post on how to use Evernote, if you think it is worthwhile? Is it more usable on one or another of these tools; Chromebook or iPad?

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  7. We're a small K-12 school of 250 students, with 150 being primary students. We are 1-to1 in the Secondary school so our computer lab is used exclusively by our Primary school. To free up space and "push" technology into the Primary school we have just made the decision to mobilse our computer lab. So next year there will be no IT lab only a mobile cart.

    Enter the debate... netbooks vs laptops vs Chromebooks vs iPads.

    In my previous school I have implemented and maintained laptop carts for MacBooks for Gr 2-5, however that was 5 years ago, now tablets and chromebook have emerged.

    I'm a huge fan of Google Apps, and implemented the Education suite for my school. I'm also very keen to seen the Chromebooks come to light with the fast boot up, ease of management and long battery life.

    However, we have a strong contingent keen to tablets in a cart for use in the Primary classroom. In particular the iPad. Personally I see the tablet as complimentary to the laptop, not a substitute.

    Does anyone have an opinion on the chromebook vs tablet showdown? In particular for a school setting, for pirmary years Pre-kinder to grade 5?

    Much appreciated

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