Our district is investigating different devices for a possible 1:1 pilot next school year. One of the devices that is being reviewed is the Google Chromebook. If you would have asked me a year ago if the Chromebook would be a possible solution for 1:1 in our district I would have given you a resounding no. The price was too high and the operating system too immature. All of that changed this year when Google and Samsung introduced a $249 Chromebook. In early October we ordered a Chromebook and put it into the hands of a student. We didn’t just choose any student. We chose the presumptive valedictorian for the class of 2013. We chose her not just for her grades but for her discriminating taste. She lives in an upper middle-class home and has access to other devices. We wanted someone to test the Chromebook that would give us honest, critical feedback about the machine. After nearly 4 months I gave the student a survey to review the device so far. Here is her review.
In what ways has the Chromebook changed the way that you use a computer?
It is all done through my gmail and is online which unlike any computer I’ve used before.
When using the Chromebook in class have you found it to be easier, about the same, or harder to find the material assigned by your teacher?
It is the same for the stuff I have done so far.
Please rate your experience with the Chromebook on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being a terrible experience and a 10 being an absolutely life changing experience.
5. It’s useful to have but it is small and there are quite a few things that aren’t compatible with a Chromebook.
Kind of because I had never used Google Docs nor had I ever had a gmail.
What were you not able to do on the Chromebook that you were otherwise able to do on a Windows computer? Is this a deal breaker? How did you get around this?
Certain websites wouldn’t work. I would have to use a different computer. It was very inconvenient. The way it saved stuff was also confusing.
What is your overall impression of the Chromebook? Please rate it on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “I want to throw this thing out of a window” and 10 being “There is no other device for me”.
4. I would say that although this computer is handy I didn’t really like it. It was small and I felt like it would break. The websites not working were also annoying. I would say for high schoolers it could work but I wouldn’t use it for a personal one.
This is why we need to put these devices in the hands of students before major purchases. In Addison, a pilot is considered a major purchase. What the student had to say wasn’t necessarily bad but it does give us data to help make a decision on whether to continue pursuing the Chromebook. This student is now going to move on to an iPad. I will post her review of the iPad near the end of the year.