Monday, 22 July 2013

Samsung Chromebook and Google Apps for Education

After having a trial of some earlier in the term, Rhws Primary School have now purchased a number of Samsung Series 3 Chromebooks to use with their pupils. I've been kindly lent one by the school over the summer break to 'try out'. They are very light-weight, have a good 11.5" screen, full sized keyboard, headphone socket, built in mic and web cam, along with two usb ports, a HDMI out and a SD card slot. Impressively it boots up from off in under 10 seconds, no frustrating time spent waiting while Windows loads up. They appear to be excellent value for money, the school paying under £200 for each Chromebook and £19 extra per device for the Chromebook management licenses. The licenses enable the school to manage the Chromebooks from the Google Apps for Education administration panel. This allows them to assign apps and profiles to different groups or individuals. A pupil or teacher from the school logs into the Chromebook using their school Google Apps for Edu username and password and is immediately logged into all their Google services.

A couple of things to bare in mind if you are looking to use these in your school. You can't install software on the device, these are designed to use web based apps only. Therefore you do need to have good wifi access to the internet. As with any new technology you wish to bring into your school, I would always recommend having an in-school trial first. Does it work well in your own school, and for your staff and your pupils?

It should be interesting to observe how these are used by pupils and staff in the new academic year. To ensure full use is made of the various Google tools the school is making changes to the ICT curriculum highlighting the opportunities to teachers where Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides can be used.

I've made a video that you can view below showing the Chromebook and talking about how it ties in with the school's Google Apps for Education accounts.