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Chromebook - why the student brought a chromebook as part of the schools BYOD programme

Started by Gerard Macmanus 05 Jun 2013 7:15pm () Replies (7)

One thing that I have started thinking about has been not just why schools get a set of devices, but why do students choose the device that they want to use at school. Is it just because it is the cool thing, everyone else has one.

Here is one students thoughts on why he brought a chromebook as part of the schools BYOD program

This is specific to the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook as I have not used any others.

Why did you look at getting a chromebook?
I looked at getting a Chromebook for a multitude of reasons, I like being different to other people and a Chromebook was something that nobody else has, which also has its benefits if it goes missing. It's price is very reasonable, I believe I have the cheapest one, and it is small and lightweight so it is easy to carry round in my bag at school. Also because it has an arm processor the battery lasts for around 7 hours which means I do not have to carry the charger with me and it does not matter where I sit in the classroom.

How have you found it, being different from a windows/mac platform?
It is hard to compare it to windows and mac because it only runs chrome and everything to do with it revolves around the Chrome Web Store, similar to app stores on Android and iPhone. So you wouldn't use it as your only computer you would want another computer or laptop at home running windows or mac to run heavier applications and exe's etc. Also because it is a basically just the Chrome web browser it is pretty much like opening Chrome on a computer so when you boot the Chromebook it turns on in about 7 seconds which is great for getting into work quickly in class.

Do you use it offline?
I would only use it offline if had to because pretty much everywhere I go with it I can get an internet connection even if it is just a hotspot created with my phone, but the Chrome Web Store does have a specific list of apps that are useable offline and Google Docs, which is Google's free and in browser response to Microsoft Office, is available offline as soon as you get the device.

How do your teachers find it when you turn up with a different OS/programs?
None of my teachers have really caught on to the fact that it is a different operating system but, my english teacher especially, was impressed at how easy it was to send her an essay that I had just typed via email because St Bede's uses Gmail as its student email handler so I can link that account to my normal Gmail account so that Google Drive, where all my documents get saved to, is easy to get at to attach files to. However some teachers are not up to speed with Google Docs and do not know how to look at them, but this is easily fixed as you can choose an option to download the document as a .docx so that they can open them as standard Word documents.

Have you tried recording video of yourself reflecting on your work?
Recording a video would be tricky and something I'm not sure if I would be comfortable with as you would have to do it via an app from the Web Store and you don't know if when you record the video someone else is watching too. Having said that I haven't actually found an app or website for recording video.

Do you use it for your art work, if so what programs are you using for it?
I have used it in Photography but only when I'm not at home or at school and don't have access to Photoshop, in that situation I use the website called Pixlr, it is a little slow and laggy but it is bearable.

Is there anything that you can't do that you wish it could do?
The only one thing I wish I could do is access Chrome Remote Desktop at school so if I have any files that I have forgotten and are on my computer I can connect to it, put the files on Google Drive and then get them at school. But I guess this only a very small drawback and only limited to when I am on the school Wi-Fi.

Overall impression.
I am very impressed at what I can do considering the cost. I paid $313 ($249 USD) plus about $50 shipping from America. The battery life is astonishing, I read about it and was a bit sceptical at first and took the charger on the first day at school with it but it took me by surprise and lasted me the entire day with battery life left over, I even use it to play music at break times. The 16gb of internal storage doesn't seem like much at first but when you start using it you soon realise it is plenty, and if you don't find it big enough it is not hard to plug in a external hard drive to increase the capacity. This particular Chromebook features two USB ports one is USB 2.0 and one is USB 3.0, an HDMI output, a headphone jack and an SD card reader and also a Sim Card slot for the 3G model of the device.
My major point is that you can't compare it to a windows or mac laptop with similar specs because the operating system is not a normal operating system it is basically just a web browser, but Google have done an amazing job of turning a web browser into a stable and efficient operating system.

Hope this is good enough because I'm pretty sure this is the longest email I've ever typed lol

I hope that this has been helpful, it would be interesting to get someone else to do one of these for a range of other devices.


  • MeganCroll1 (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2013 10:53pm ()

    Thanks for the long, but interesting email Gerard!   It is great to get a review from a student - their view on any device is really important.   I would be keen to hear about other devices, especially when the student has the choice between 2-3.  Which one is more beneficial to their learning.   I'm not in a BYOD school... yet, so can't get a student's perspective.   I'll keep watching this space.

  • Gerard Macmanus (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 8:41am ()

    Thank you, I plan to ask a couple of other students on why they chose some of the devices that they are bringing to school. As the student has said at the bottom, this is the longest email the student has ever written. This shows the student's enthusiasm for his choice.

  • Andrew Wooster (View all users posts) 07 Jun 2013 9:50am ()

    It's about time we hear more from the students.  Fantastic post Gerald!

  • Diane Henderson (View all users posts) 07 Jun 2013 12:04pm ()

    I agree, great to hear from students.  I like the idea of the light device for carrying around all day, the longer battery life and the fact that by using Google Docs you can easily share.  I am sure the benefits outweigh the issues such as videoing - the fact it has the USB ports, HDMI etc. are good - sounds like an ideal device, as long as teachers are up to speed as Greard suggests.

  • Gerard Macmanus (View all users posts) 04 Aug 2013 10:28pm ()

    Interesting news is, another student has just brought one to school as well, will try and find out his reasons why a chromebook fits his BYOD needs.

  • vreddy (View all users posts) 09 Aug 2016 9:38am ()

    Hi all,

    I am in a large secondary low decile school and even though we are not fully BYOD, but the school has invested in buying Chromebooks for each faculty.  Currently we have 40 Chromebooks for each Faculty with a further 20 to be bought soon.  I have found the Chromebooks to be really awesome in terms of value for money.  Students love using them and being a google school with N4L it is easy to use where-ever.

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