Google Chromebook: 1-to-1 Computing for $180 per Student?

Google-chrome-logo-1000 This week Google launched the Chromebook – a cloud-based "laptop" priced at $20 per month. That's $180 per student for a nine-month school year. Not a bad price for 1 to 1.

It's built on the already popular Google Chrome and Google apps platform. (I'm using both with increasing regularity).  It will be a tempting offer for schools – instant on, always connected – plus no software installs, anti-virus, or upgrades to worry about. Run it at school on the district WiFi, then take it home and use 3G – Verizon is providing 100mb of data per month for free. 

The Chromebook will raise big questions about collection of personal student data, internet security and acceptable use policies. But Google claims to have features in place which offers granular controls on web access (1st graders can't get to sites that might be acceptable to high schoolers.) 

I wonder if schools will take the bait? If I were the school IT guy – I'd be nervous. If it turns out Chromebook works as advertised, I might be out of work.

On second thought – I should get one for my mother. That's an IT job I'd like to lose!

4 Replies to “Google Chromebook: 1-to-1 Computing for $180 per Student?”

  1. the problem with cloud computing is what do you do when the servers are down and you lose all your precious data? something like that happened with sidekick devices a couple of years ago.

  2. Vasu, that’s a good point about the servers. I used to back up to a local hard drive, but when my last one died, I moved my back ups to the cloud. I guess I’m putting my trust in someone else’s servers. I do use 2 different backup services to lower the chances that I’ll lose essential data.

  3. I think the pricing is still being refined. I’ve seen a number of plans (and prices) quoted.

    I used the example of $180 / school year per student based on the $20 per month pricing. Over the course of a 3 year contract the same Chromebook could be used by different students during the school year and shared with students (or teachers) during the summer months. Since the data is on the cloud, multiple users could share the same unit.

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