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Google's $199 Chromebook laptop has beat Apple's iPad as the leading supplier of educational devices to schools.
According to a recent article in the Financial Times, 715,000 Chromebooks were shipped to schools in the 3rd quarter compared to 702,000 iPads. This marks a shift away from the tablet-as-King mentality to a recognition of the value of laptops as teaching tools.
The Cost – At $199 for a Chromebook, schools can serve more children with a lower device to student ratio. Apple's iPad costs schools $379 and with educational software can add up to close to $800 per unit.
The Keyboard – Teaching to the Common Core requires the use of a keyboard for writing, which encourages creative thinking, and Chromebook's integrated keyboard is much more functional than the iPad's touch screen or expensive add-on keyboard.
Device Sharing – Because it is easy to create multiple user accounts on a Chromebook and Google's Education suite is web-based, the Chromebook can be shared by many students, driving the cost down further. The iPad's device-based apps are geared more towards 1-to-1 learning.
Ease of Use – Fans of the devices note the ease of managing large deployments, decreasing the burden on IT staff, as well as the simplicity of teacher training and student instruction.
Concerns still remain about the effectiveness of Chromebooks without reliable wireless connectivity at both school and home. Kajeet is helping to bridge the digital divide by offering Chromebooks pre-installed with Kajeet Education Broadband™ to meet the needs of at-risk students. With the lower cost of Chromebooks and the ease of installation of CIPA-compliant wireless broadband, school districts around the country are seeing the benefits of providing laptops with Internet connectivity to their low-income students.
“Internet connectivity has always been an issue in our district,” says Keith Schlarb, Director of IT for Worthington, Ohio's ISD. “The low cost of the Chromebooks has made providing connectivity to our at-risk students a reality.”
If you are interested in learning more about how Kajeet Education Broadband can serve your school district, click here.