Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why We Love Chromebooks / Zachary Griffin

The Advantages of a Google Chromebook
Google is one of the biggest multinational corporations in the world, and with its goal of trying to create seamless and universal devices and programs for any type of audience, such as the Google Apps, it only seems fitting that they would create a Chrome-based laptop that takes full advantage of its App interface and cloud-based service.

Cloud-Based Interface
As is the direction Google are going with the Google Docs, the Chromebooks take advantage of the Chrome OS device. An internet-based storage system that stores anything from online video streaming to sharing emails via a social network, is all implemented seamlessly on the Chromebooks.

Despite the several advantages to an always online storage system, this could have its own negative outcome for people who are more protective of their content and don’t feel comfortable pushing their content on an always-online storage space.

Full Advantage of the Google Docs
A more cloud-based online environment is coming, and with big manufacturers like Sony, Apple, and Microsoft utilizing a streamed-based service, Google Docs will become even more efficient in creating and sharing documents in the future. Among the various things that the Google Docs allow you to do, you can also take advantage of its exclusive apps that can used for education such as Quicknote or Scratchpad.

Apps that Instructional Staff can take advantage of using Chromebooks:
  • Google Books
  • SlideRocket
  • Google Docs
  • Google Dictionary
  • Alarm Clock App
  • Zoho Projects

Affordability of a Chromebook versus any other standard laptop
One of the best parts of obtaining a Chromebook is how cheap they are. The Acer Chromebook C720-2848 laptop with an 11.6-inch screen is only $200. Compared to similar laptops from other manufacturers such as a Windows 8.1 Dell, which sells the Asus 13.3-inch laptop at $400 with a lower end Intel Duo processor, the Chromebook, relying more heavily on its streaming service rather than its tech, would not only provide better value, but you wouldn't need to worry about getting hardware upgrades on an always clouded device.

How we, at the Andover Innovation Lab use Google Docs
Google Forms 
We use Google forms to create various spreadsheets and forms that assist us in keeping track of our students progress regardless of where we are and what device we are using, as these are the advantages of a streamed catalog! One of the examples that we use is the Student Attendance sheet which was created using Google Forms.

Google Calendar
Keeping track of our students attendance online for the Help Desk is not only beneficial for us, but also for the students. Using Google Calendar, we posted the Help Desk’s students names and the times and days they are scheduled to attend class on the Calendar, which is set to public so both teachers and students can view it. Using the embed tool the Google Calendar provides, we can also post that Calendar on Wiki Spaces and Blogger so our students can always see it as a useful reminder as to when they are expected to attend our class.

Among the many resources the Google Apps provide us, the Google Blogger is among our most used app at the Help Desk. Blogging is an essential way of keeping our viewers and students up to date with the current events of the Help Desk. Students are also asked to post their own blogs regarding their progress on their projects on the Help Desk blogger.

       The Google Apps are essential to the Andover Innovation Lab’s progress, and using the Chromebook interface to take even more advantage of these features would even further its value to both the staff and the students. Chromebooks are affordable, durable, and up-to-date with the newest cloud-based technology, and with Google pushing towards becoming an even more universal technology based company than it already is, Chromebooks will surely prove to be the way to go for education in the near future.

Useful Links for further information on Chromebooks:

Andover Innovation Lab Links: