Chromebooks Are Gaining Traction in Schools

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 26, 2012

This week, Google officials were in San Diego meeting with thousands of educators and administrators at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. are more than 500 school districts in the U.S. and Europe actively using Chrome OS-based Chromebooks, and more are signing on at a fast clip.

In addition to the 500 school districts in the U.S. and Europe using Chromebooks, Google announced this week that more are signing on, including Rockingham Country Schools, N.C., Transylvania County Schools, N.C., and Fond du Lac School District, Wis. 

Leyden High School District from Illinois is rolling out Chromebooks to its 3,500 students, and here some of the apps the students will use:  WeVideo, EasyBib, Vernier Labquest2, SlideRocket, Geogebra and Pearson’s OpenClass. Who knew about these?

At this week's conference, Google is also rolling out some new features for schools using Chromebooks that purportedly make it easy to find, use, install and manage web apps for an entire school. These include the following, according to Google's report:

  • Grade-level application packs are groups of Chrome Web Store apps that integrate tightly with Google’s suite of Apps for Education, divided by grade levels to meet different classroom needs. These packs are installable from the Chromebook management console. Many of them are free and we’ve worked with the app makers to offer discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Organization-specific web app collections in the Chrome Web Store give administrators the ability to recommend apps to students, teachers and staff. The collection is visible only to the school, and admins can curate apps from the Chrome Web Store, application packs and web apps purchased elsewhere or private apps developed by the school. (This feature is also available to Chromebooks for Business customers from the control panel.)

 Apple, of course, still has overwhelming market share in schools. However, if Google can offer compelling free applications, bundles, incentives and low costs for Chromebooks, they could gain further traction in schools.