Google's Chromebooks may not be catching on with consumers, but schools across the country are adopting the lightweight, Web-based notebooks from Samsung and Acer.
High-tech watchers won't find many
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromebooks outside of users who received test model
Cr-48s or picked up Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks from attending Google I/0 last
Google is having better luck hawking
Chromebooks in classrooms around the country, with hundreds of schools using
Chromebooks in 41 of the 52 U.S. states.
That includes Chromebooks for each of
nearly 27,000 students in school districts in Iowa, Illinois and South
Carolina, Google Chromebook Product Manager Rajen Sheth announced at the
Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, Fla.
Students, faculty and administrators
appreciate the ease of use of the lightweight machines with little local
storage that boot up in seconds. Chromebooks let users access Web applications
through Google's Chrome browser.
With Google handling all of the
software maintenance in its cloud, including upgrading Chrome OS monthly, IT
administrators are freed up to apply their time and resources to other IT
Google "rents" the
Chromebooks to schools on a monthly basis. The Samsung Series 5 and Acer A700 models each cost $20 a
unit per month, plus $3 a device per month for built-in 3G. Schools may also
buy the Samsung model for the year at $449, or $519 with 3G
Here's how the schools in Iowa,
Illinois, and South Carolina have gone Google with Chromebooks:
- Iowa's Council Bluffs Community
School District is hashing out a Chromebook initiative for all 2,800
students in its two high schools. The district will use an additional
1,500 Chromebooks in two middle schools.
- Illinois' Leyden Community High
School District pledged to roll out the devices to 3,500 students in its
two high schools.
- South Carolina's Richland
School District Two is seeding Chromebooks with 19,000 students.
"From my perspective, Chromebooks
couldn't get any simpler; setting up this many laptops would have typically
taken our team at least three months," noted David Fringer, executive
director for information systems at Council Bluffs Community School District.
compared this Chromebook momentum to where Google Apps was five years ago when
it launched in February 2007.
"At that time, educational
institutions were the most interested, and it was inspiring to hear the
different ways schools and districts had begun using Gmail, Calendar and
Docs," Sheth wrote in a blog post
"At FETC we've been similarly
excited to see how teachers have formed communities around professional
development for Chromebooks, districts all across the U.S. are piloting
Chromebooks in their classrooms, and more and more reach out to us to learn
about Chromebooks for education every day."
Samsung and Acer launched Chromebooks
last summer. Sales have reportedly been limited
to the tens of
thousands among consumers. Both OEMs have discounted their machines
However, Samsung is far from giving up
company is refreshing its existing Chromebook line and teased a Chrome desktop
box at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month.