Move over iPads: Chromebooks Rule in the Classroom

It’s official: Chromebooks are the computer of choice for more than half of school districts across the country. Futuresource Consulting announced on Thursday that for the first time ever, Chromebooks account for 4.4 million (roughly 53 percent) of devices sold to school districts for grades K-12. Analysts are shocked by the quick takeover of the market but we knew it was only a matter of time for common sense to kick into educators.

For starters, Chromebooks are a fraction of the cost. With the iPad Air 2 clocking in at the starting price of $472, comparable devices like the Asus Chromebook Flip is only $209.99.

With so many school districts claiming to be cash-strapped, Chromebooks’ cost-effective price is unbeatable. And if the sticker price wasn’t enough of an allure, the powers at be of Google created Google for Education apps, an integrated communication and collaboration tool that allows students to collaborate with their classmates on papers, projects, presentations and spreadsheets. They can also submit homework to their teachers and save time. Educators can in turn grade assignments with ease, launch a blog or website for their classes without having to learn code and keep an online system organized.

And it goes without saying that Chromebooks are lightweight, their processing systems function at lightning speed and their keyboard is far superior to anything an iPad can offer. In addition, the battery life is high, the build is solid and its immunity to viruses makes it a safe option for students.

It’s estimated that 30,000 new Chromebooks are activated in school each weekday. Joseph Morris, director of market intelligence at the Center for Digital Education, was quoted in The Atlantic’s article Why Some Schools are Selling All Their iPads, as saying,

“On average, schools spend about a third of their technology budgets on computer hardware.” And in 2014, it was projected that K-12 schools would spend an estimated $9.94 billion on educational technology.

The device of choice just a few years ago was the iPad. But in 2013, the market saw a shift. Take schools in L.A. for instance. In September 2013, Los Angeles school officials took back 2,100 iPads they released to students. They were purchased to the tune of $700 a piece but found they had issues when students were able to access websites the district tried to block and many students violated instructions to keep their devices on campus.

Hillsborough Middle School in New Jersey sold the iPads they purchased for a pilot program and purchased 4,600 Chromebooks instead in the fall of 2014. As of the spring of 2015, it was reported that every student in grades 5-12 had a Chromebook at their disposal. The school district is widely considered a leader in the state concerning their technology initiatives. And other school districts across the nation are taking note.

Do you or your child use Chomebooks in the classroom? Comment below, we’d love to hear about your experience.

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