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Why So Few Chromebooks In Larger Ed?


Chromebooks and the ChromeOS are enormous in Okay-12. In larger ed, not a lot.

Should you had requested me just a few years in the past, I’d have stated that I used to be pretty satisfied that the Chromebook was poised to be a serious participant in larger ed tech.

The explanations that I assumed that college students (first) after which employees (second) and college (third) would begin to convey (or be handed) Chromebooks on campus mirrored why Okay-12 was going ChromeOS. These causes embrace:

Decrease Whole Value of Possession: ChromeOS laptops are cheaper than Apple and Home windows machines to purchase and are a lot less expensive to keep up. An OS constructed round internet apps means there may be much less to put in and repair. Information residing within the cloud imply fewer complications for restoration and backup.

The Transfer from Workplace to Gmail and Google Docs: A shift to Chromebooks appeared inevitable as all of us shifted to Gmail and Google Docs. Certainly, a laptop computer that was constructed particularly to run these Google internet apps would make for a productive and pleasurable expertise. Purposes appeared to have been shifting from the machine (shopper) to the cloud, making it much less essential to take care of the overhead of a full OS.

Safety: Proudly owning a Home windows machine meant consistently preventing viruses and different potential safety challenges. Macs will not be immune from assault. The ChromeOS appeared to be safer and simpler to guard.

In Googling round, I couldn’t nail down the Chromebook market share in larger ed. (Perhaps you possibly can assist?). In Okay-12, Chromebooks appear to account for 40 to 60 p.c of all college/district purchases.

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Observationally and anecdotally, I don’t see or hear all that a lot about Chromebooks in larger ed. Why may that be? I’ve 5 guesses.

Guess #1 – Purposes Nonetheless Matter:

A lot of what we do on our computer systems has moved to the online. However not every part. There’s nonetheless software program that both runs higher or will solely run as native shopper apps. Anybody who does any video enhancing, statistical evaluation, or knowledge visualization will need to work with software program designed for macOS or Home windows. The usability of internet purposes stays restricted as in comparison with purposes designed to run on Apple or Home windows laptops. Most college students, employees, and college need the selection of operating both internet or shopper apps. That is significantly true of MS Workplace, the place the online apps for Phrase/Excel/Powerpoint have by no means caught up with the complete shopper software program variations.

Guess #2 – Cheap Home windows Laptops:

If value was the principle motive to go for a Chromebook, the proliferation of cheap Home windows laptops weakened the case for ChromeOS machines. Low-end Home windows laptops are priced at lower than $500. On the high-end, Chromebooks can value greater than mid-tier Apple or Home windows machines, with the HP Elite Chromebook retailing for greater than $1,600.

Guess #3 – Perceived Worth of High quality Laptops:

These days, how a lot can we do in larger ed that doesn’t contain our computer systems? The pandemic has pushed most conferences from face-to-face to Zoom. We dwell on electronic mail, collaborate on Google Docs, create displays, and write papers on Workplace apps. The final laptop computer I bought was a MacBook Air for about $1,100. With how a lot of my educational work that will depend on my laptop computer (actually, all of it), paying for a high quality machine looks like an excellent worth. Even campus-based and face-to-face academia is now extremely digitally mediated. With all of us depending on our laptops to work, it appears penny-wise and pound-foolish to get laptops that may’t do every part we’d like.

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Guess #4 – The iPhone:

Apple enjoys a greater than 50 p.c market share with the iPhone within the US cellular market.  If something, I’d guess Apple’s larger ed cellular market share is even larger. One of many the explanation why I believe we see so many MacBooks in larger ed is all these iPhones. (And iPads). The notion could also be that staying inside a single ecosystem is simpler.

Guess #5 – Google Has Not Made a Large Larger Ed Chromebook Effort:

How a lot has Google focussed on profitable the upper ed laptop computer market? It appears as if Google has directed considerably extra effort into the Okay-12 market than into larger ed. This will likely make sense, as Okay-12 adoption is on the district stage. Universities appear to be shifting away from requiring that every one college students buy the identical laptop computer. Google Classroom is throughout Okay-12 however isn’t an LMS substitute and is due to this fact absent from larger training. Ought to Google make a push for broader and deeper Chromebook adoption at faculties and universities?

Are you a better ed individual relying solely on a Chromebook to finish your work?

Any Chromebook utilizing faculty college students who could need to share the explanations behind your ChromeOS selection?



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