Ronny Lam

about://tech

Chromebooks for Classrooms: $99 for the Holidays

For many students and teachers, the hassles of traditional computing often prevent them from making the most of technology in the classroom. Schools that have adopted Chromebooks, however, have been able to bring the web’s vast educational resources—whether it’s conducting real-time research or collaborating on group projects—right into the classroom. Chromebooks are fast, easily sharable, and require almost no maintenance. Today more than 1,000 schools have adopted Chromebooks in classrooms.

To help budget-strapped classrooms across the country, we’re working with DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that connects donors directly to public school classroom needs. For the holiday season, teachers can request the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook—the most widely deployed Chromebook in schools—at a special, discounted price of $99 including hardware, management and support.

If you’re a full-time public school teacher in the U.S., visit DonorsChoose.org and follow the instructions to take advantage of this opportunity by December 21, 2012.

Sounds good, right? Google charity helping out poor schools with low-priced laptops. But the reality is a bit more harsh, here are my two cents:

  • This is US-centric, so all the other countries that keep Google in the saddle will not get any advantages. Google is a US-company and in my opinion still very much US-centric.
  • Above the previous, where are the developing countries in this story? Google might have helped the one laptop per child program, but they are being left out. Or is it that you need an internet connection to work with a Chromebook and that the internet is not spread out yet?
  • They are offering the Samsung series-5: failed, underpowered hardware which is still in old stocks I presume. Let’s get rid of them and sell them for cheap to schools.

To be clear: I own a Samsung series-5 myself and know that the performance of the thing is lagging way behind the rest. Thank god that that is being compensated by the power usage, which is very long. Maybe that is a plus for schools, given that they do not need any CPU-power.