Think of how you use a computer. What do you use most? Apps like MS Office? Application specific things like video, CAD, or something else? I will guess that most of you use the browser the majority of the time. Maybe all the time. That’s what makes Google’s Chrome OS on the Chromebooks so interesting. You really do not have anything but the Chrome browser. Then factor in a decent price, $200-500 for 2 to 4gb, you can definitely see the possibilities in schools. We decided to investigate them more. We used a couple, but just recently decided to go with 20 more of the Samsung version. Of course they are back ordered until the end of the month. Seems even Google did not anticipate their popularity. A recent Google blog posting (http://googleenterprise.blogspot.ca/2013/02/a-look-back-at-2012-expansion-of.html) reports that over 2,000 schools now use large numbers of Chromebooks. Not sure if our 20 counts are large numbers, so I doubt we are included in the 2,000, but I definitely continue to hear buzz about these. So much so that our state Department of Public Instruction continues to look into making them work with their various testing applications.
Now we hear more manufacturers coming out with their own versions. Samsung was the first with a couple varieties. Acer, I believe, was also one of the originals. Now we hear about models from HP and Lenovo. Higher specs too, as much as 4GB of RAM. Pretty remarkable in such a short amount of time too. Really, you may not even need that, as you just run a browser, so the low end specs, of which we purchase, should work fine. Exciting times, that is for sure!