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Why are so many schools selecting Chromebooks as their device for 1:1 deployments?  Chromebooks have been designed for the mobile world.  Of course tablets are mobile devices as well, as are notebook computers.  However, let’s look at the advantages each of them have.  All of these devices link the user to the internet, so there is no advantage or disadvantage there.  Tablets have been designed to be small and lightweight, and by most accounts, they are always much smaller and lighter than a Chromebook or a notebook computer.  Advantage tablets in the weight category.  However, if you need to type a document, who can say they prefer to type on a touchscreen interface versus a tactile keyboard?  Anytime extended typing is required, the Chromebook and notebook computer have the advantage.  By all means, you can purchase an accessory for your tablet to have a keyboard, but of course the added cost will increase the devices lifetime cost.  In an educational environment students are likely to be required to type quite a few documents during their school career.  Why not give them a device that will help them accomplish that goal?

Now we must compare a Chromebook with a traditional notebook.  Unlike notebooks which have large hard drives and that store all of their data locally, Chromebooks were designed to store files and documents on the web.  This not only allows them to boot faster (typically under 10 seconds), but all documents are automatically backed up to the web without any user intervention.  Take into consideration the cost of a hard drive, of both the physical hardware purchase as well as the battery life, and you can see there are some substantial benefits to the Chromebook.  In addition, Chromebooks have a web-based management console that allows you to easily deploy and control users, devices and apps across all of your Chromebook devices.  Did I mention that they perform automatic updates and have built-in virus protection, all designed to keep your documents secure from viruses, malware, and spyware?  Overall, the cost of a Chromebooks is significantly less than a conventional notebook, due in part to the lack of a large storage drive in conjunction with the ease of deployment and management during the long term.

When selecting a Chromebook, don’t forget to think about how teachers will be using the new technology.  With technology come distractions.  Each student now has a device capable of connecting to the internet.  How do you manage the students and their new-found abilities in the classroom?  Consider deploying SoftLINK classroom management software with the Chromebooks.  With SoftLINK, you can block websites, and even disable internet access completely!  Concerned that your students are not using their Chromebooks appropriately?  SoftLINK allows you to view the screens of each Chromebook in the classroom.  Not only can you monitor what students are doing, but you can also broadcast or show the teacher’s screen directly on the Chromebooks’ screens.  Even if you don’t have a projector in your classroom, you can now share visual information directly to the students, giving each a perfect and crisp view.  At one time or another, I’m sure every teacher has had trouble gaining their students’ attentions.  Imagine how much harder it may be with a Chromebook in front of them.  No need to worry, SoftLINK provides a convenient way to immediately gain each student’s attention without saying a word.  Select the Lock feature and each Chromebook will immediately lose keyboard and mouse functionality, as well as its desktop image.

SoftLINK will also allow you to improve your class’s comprehension.  Students can discretely request help from the teacher, and the teacher can reply via chat.  In this way, no student will feel compelled to not ask a question for fear of looking ‘stupid’ in front of their classmates.  Use the Survey feature to ask your class a question at any time, allowing you to gauge your classes comprehension when you need to the most, while you are teaching.

Chromebooks provide a cost effective solution to schools that have decided to provide a device to each student.  Unlock your Chromebooks’ full potential by deploying SoftLINK as well.  Create a fully immersive and collaborative classroom of the future!

 

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