20 Dec Google Chromebooks Get Teachers’ Seal of Approval
As more schools adopt Chromebook programs, teachers praise these affordable devices as valuable educational tools.
Chromebooks aren’t budging from the educational market anytime soon. With more than 20 million students around the world now using Chromebooks, Google products are becoming deeply entrenched in the school landscape and edging out competitors that once criticized the company’s utilitarian laptops. Hype aside, teachers get the final say on which devices have a positive impact on learning in the classroom, and a recent study shows overwhelming support for Chromebooks.
In the Teaching with Technology study, the Journal surveyed over 1,300 U.S. educators to determine the most (and least) valuable tools for getting students engaged in the classroom. Roughly 77 percent of respondents currently had laptops in use in their schools, and 89 percent considered them to be valuable or essential for teaching. Despite being categorized separately from other laptops, Chromebooks were considered valuable or essential by 80 percent of the survey participants.
Google’s line of low-cost laptops ranked higher than media tablets, desktop computers, e-readers and mobile phones — an impressive feat for a device that didn’t exist six years ago. One reason for the widespread deployment of Chromebooks is Google’s focus on delivering a multichannel educational experience. Students and teachers use the Google for Education suite to communicate, collaborate and design projects, while innovations such as Google Cardboard make learning interactive and immersive.
Many Google suite features also improve manageability for educators, helping them organize assignments, plan engaging lessons and work remotely with students. In late 2016, Simba Information reported that teachers use Google Classroom three times more than other learning management systems, and they chose Google’s educator communities among the top three online resources for sharing ideas and connecting with fellow teachers.
As the troops on the front lines, teachers know what works and what doesn’t. When asked which technology tools they value least, educators agreed that smart watches and mobile phones bring little to the classroom environment, identifying them as most detrimental to learning. Only 1 percent of respondents viewed Chromebooks as detrimental, and only 4 percent considered them to be lacking in value. However, we can assume some disapproval stems from instances when technology was poorly implemented. Chromebooks can’t please everyone, but they have done an exceptional job at winning over the majority.
Critics condemned Google Chromebooks when they first appeared for being simplistic, Web-dependent devices, but educators are proving that classroom tools don’t have to be fancy, expensive or overloaded with peripheral features. School hours are designed to stimulate analysis and creativity while preparing students for occupational success — goals that are easier to accomplish with technology that focuses on collaboration and content creation over entertainment.
Dell Chromebook 11 | Acer C720 / C740 | Asus C200 | Lenovo Chromebook | HP G4 G5 Chromebook | Lenovo N22| MacBook Pro