Friday, March 29, 2013

Chromebooks for Education

I've been looking a bit more at Chromebooks for Education. Thinkamingo has been doing quite well building up a portfolio of educational mobile apps, but the rise of Chromebooks in schools is something that we can't ignore. So we'll continue to think what role we could take in an entirely web-based environment rather than a on-device tablet environment like iPads.

Chromebooks certainly make sense for a school, especially given the difficulty of managing iPads (or other devices) as a group. I really like the idea of schools being able to quickly swap out broken devices or even loan devices to students without needing to install or replicate anything.

One great point is that adopting an online-only environment, with or without Chromebooks, is really the best way to enable bring your own device (BYOD) because it opens up the environment to a wide range of devices. Right now, it's virtually impossible for an app-based curriculum to allow students to bring a mix of iPads, Kindle Fires, etc. because so many apps are only available on one platform. But as long as each device has a decent browser, all can use well-designed websites.

A couple Chromebook resources I've been looking at:

I'll keep adding to this post if we go anywhere with Chromebooks. I played with booting ChromeOS in a VMWare instance but have had some problems. I'm really tempted to get one of the Samsung Chromebooks as a test device, but I think my desk and laptop bag are finally at their limit of devices.

Update: This isn't really for educators, but this is a good post on developing on the Chromebook.

1 comment:

Compass SMI said...


I agree with your comments about the benefits of Chromebooks to schools. Besides the benefits that you mentioned, there's also the fact that Chromebooks start up so fast, so students don't have to wait half the lesson for their laptops to be up and running.

Many schools, however, still need access to Windows applications. Or, they may want to access education-related web apps that require Java support.

One possible approach to these issues is to combine Chromebooks with solutions such as Ericom AccessNow, an HTML5 RDP solution that enables Chromebook users to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server and VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications or desktops in a browser tab. You can even open up an Internet Explorer session inside a Chrome browser tab, and then connect to the applications that require Java and run them on the Chromebook.

This was the approach taken by the Richland School District 2 in South Carolina and the Hanover School District in Pennsylvania. You can hear more about that in this recorded Google Hangout:

For more information about AccessNow for Chromebooks in Education, visit:

Please note that I work for Ericom