17 Oct Look At the Big Picture When Tracking Chromebook Breakage Rates
Focusing on the percentage of broken computers instead of the quantity can help districts determine the effectiveness of Chromebook care techniques.
Numbers matter when it comes to convincing school administrators or local taxpayers that a collossal technology investment was worth the cost. Yet, electronic devices are never perfect. Computers can arrive with unseen defects or suffer damage from normal and accidental wear, making it essential for district officials to accept that some asset loss is inevitable.
Chromebooks are sometimes criticized for being inexpensive, economically designed devices, especially by Apple execs who resent Google’s unprecedented success in the education market. On the other hand, the cost-efficiency of Chromebooks is beneficial for many schools, allowing them to purchase, repair or replace the devices at nominal prices. The most resourceful districts even implement in-house repair programs in which trained students perform maintenance on broken Chromebooks, providing a fast, low-cost turnaround.
In any event, a day may come when administrators have to defend their tech purchases or consider switching to a different device. Tracking breakage rates can help officials accurately determine when to stick with a specific Chromebook model or start shopping around for a better alternative. When districts experience a higher breakage rate than expected, it can be tempting to question the quality of the laptop or how a student handled the device. Both factors can certainly lead to a pile of cracked, dented or burned out Chromebooks, but they may not provide a complete picture of how successfully the district prepared for maintaining a fleet of laptops.
The more Chromebooks the district deploys, the higher the breakage rate will be. With this in mind, administrators should not be discouraged by a high number of broken devices if the overall percentage of breakage is low. A district spokesperson for Hoover City Schools in Alabama recently reported that 400 student Chromebooks were undergoing repairs. While this number may seem steep, it only accounts for 3.67 percent of the 10,894 devices deployed across the district. Hoover City students are also able to keep Chromebooks over the summer, making the low breakage rate even more impressive.
In today’s digitally driven world, data is king, and schools that want to fine-tune Chromebook one-to-one programs should be keeping detailed information about breakage rates. Here are a just few ways to use data to boost the cost-efficiency of school technology purchases:
- Track rate of defects to hold manufacturers accountable.
- Track type of breakage and to improve Chromebook care resources.
- Track rate of breakage to determine the best insurance or parental fee options.
- Compare breakage rates of different models to refine future Chromebook prices.
- Evaluate breakage rates by student age to improve purchasing choices.
- Compare breakage rates with and without cases to guide protection purchases.
When used with purpose, data can be the key to weeding out inefficiences and choosing the best equipment for a technology initiative. In the meantime, aim to keep Chromebooks in good condition by thoroughly researching devices before purchasing and teaching students and staff the proper way to care for their devices.
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