For years, schools have been searching for the best, most cost-effective method to bring technology, and all its learning advantages, into the classroom. Chromebooks are becoming the solution for many districts. Chromebooks are an economic, thin computer, lightweight, and portable. Web based, the computer is not vulnerable to virus and malware attacks. Following are five use cases for Chromebooks in education.
1. Use Chromebooks as the Primary Computer for Students and Faculty
Everything on a Chromebook is provided through apps, including email, documents, and photos that take advantage of cloud storage. Students are able to be productive without an internet connection. Offline selections, include:
- Check assignment calendar
- Generate and edit documents
- Take notes
- Review saved webpages
- Compose emails
Chromebooks automatically sync the new information and save it, once the online connection is restored. Typically, Chromebooks include 16GB of storage, and Google provides 100 GB of cloud storage for every Chromebook. Information can be saved to a USB, or printed.
2. Share Chromebooks for Anytime, Anywhere Access
Students don’t have to be face-to-face in a classroom to continue working. Anywhere there is a computer or mobile device that has internet, assignments can be accessed. Chromebooks in education allow students to gather their own information, and then share and collaborate with others. Because Chromebooks provide limited access computing, and have no stored user information, they can be safely shared between two or more students, or obtained from a school library.
3. Chromebooks can be used for Student Assessments
Chromebooks are designed with both a kiosk and public mode are available. They are both useful for assessments, providing educators with a platform that only allows single use to complete a test on devices that are locked down from web searches. Educators can select an option for examinations to end after a certain period of time to meet any evaluation time restrictions. Research indicates that technology-rich school environments increase academic test scores.
Kiosk mode on Chromebooks
In kiosk mode, exams are supplied by way of custom test apps, or from an app obtained from the Chrome Web Store. Tests are fun in full screen mode, which blocks students from browsing the web, or changing to any other Chrome apps.
Public Session Mode on Chromebooks
Public mode uses any Chrome compatible, web-based exam. Chromebooks are locked down preventing access to any other web content, and ensuring the security and control necessary to comply with standardized assessment requirements.
4. Virtualize a Windows Environment on Chromebooks
Chromebooks use the Citrix receiver and VMWare which support virtual applications and desktops. Educators are able to enhance the physical classroom with a virtual environment that gives access to huge resources and databases. Studies indicate that technology-rich classrooms enhance:
- Communication via discussion threads, and forums, and immediate feedback from others
- Representative home pages
- Work production and completion
- Student cooperation and collaboration
- Student motivation
- Parental involvement
5. Use Chromebooks (and Chromebits!) to power Digital Signage around the School
Chromebooks have the capacity to power digital signage which has many uses and implementations for education. Displays can be logged on to any number of computers, and messages can be directed toward selected audiences, at specific times, for a precise purpose. In schools, digital signage is used for:
- Daily announcements
- On-screen recognition for work well done
- School events in gym, bank, art or theater
- Map of school locations
- Upcoming deadlines
- Scheduling changes
Chromebooks enrich learning in a multitude of ways. Educators can choose multiple methods of differentiating instruction, immediately respond to student’s needs, stay in tune with student progress, and quickly grade student assessments. Technology is an essential part of the education process for students of all ages. Chromebooks are helping school districts provide that technology.