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Google Announces 2,000 Schools Now Use Chromebooks, Up 100% In 3 Months

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the have-a-machine dept.

Chrome 96

An anonymous reader writes "Google is fearlessly trudging on with its Chromebook push in the education market. The company announced on Friday that there are now 2,000 schools using Chromebooks for Education around the world. Just three months ago, there were 1,000 schools, showing an impressive adoption rate so far."

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First World Nations are few and far between (1)

tyrione (134248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778295)

There are tens of thousands of third world schools. This is impressive in the sense they now have a chance to eschew into the 21st century with and without central plumbing.

Re:First World Nations are few and far between (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778331)

if only other countries were more like us, they would finally be able to escape poverty and be happy

Snow day (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778749)

So do the kids get a "snow day" if the internet is down?

Re:Snow day (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779311)

It just means the students whose turn it is to use the computer that day miss it, and will have to wait until next year to use it for 15 minutes.

Re:Snow day (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779413)

ChromeOS does a reasonable amount of client-side caching at this point(you obviously aren't getting on the internet without a connection; but you won't be noticeably more screwed than the guy with a copy of Office and no internet connection).

Also, unless the environments I've seen are very atypical, network connectivity issues(WAN or LAN side) tend to disrupt schools and businesses pretty significantly because of how much of the workflow involves poking at the internet in some way, even if it's a totally bespoke application that looks and acts nothing like a browser...

Wow, at that rate (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778299)

in 20 years the entire universe will be full of Chromebooks! Impressive adoption rate, indeed!

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778333)

Because every initial adoption rate with technology is of course a linear rate that never falls of...

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778347)

Hey man, thanks for explaining the joke to those without a sarcasm detector. I really appreciate it.

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778471)

Hey man, thanks for explaining the joke to those without a sarcasm detector. I really appreciate it.

Just to be clear, he's being sarcastic right there.

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778511)

Are you sure? I thought you were being sarcastic.

It's so hard these days.

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783525)

Now I'm confused, I only have one sarcastic mod point to use; and don't know who to use it on?

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778399)

Because every initial adoption rate with technology is of course a linear rate that never falls of...

but its not unrealistic for it to have linear growth till saturation. Remember we are only talking a million devices every three months. In reality if Chromebooks are a success which considering the lack of viable alternatives [cost and maintenance] is likely I would expect better than linear growth.

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779649)

Because every initial adoption rate with technology is of course a linear rate that never falls of...

but its not unrealistic for it to have linear growth till saturation. Remember we are only talking a million devices every three months. In reality if Chromebooks are a success which considering the lack of viable alternatives [cost and maintenance] is likely I would expect better than linear growth.

Doubling every x time periods is a geometric progression, not a linear progression. There are also alternatives for Chromebooks, they are basically just netbooks repackage and then there are also tablets which can fill the same niche. What Chromebooks have going for it versus the alternatives is the backing of Google (compared to other netbooks) and price (compared to iPads and most tablets).

Re:Wow, at that rate if your an idiot (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779635)

Because every initial adoption rate with technology is of course a linear rate that never falls of...

Your point is well taken, of course doubling every three months is a geometric progression and not a linear one, but that is besides the point.

Re:Wow, at that rate (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784069)

To save everyone the bother:

http://m.xkcd.com/605/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Wow, at that rate (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about a year and a half ago | (#42788367)

No AV cost, cheap price, tones of app support. This is a product that can really be aimed t words smaller schools and budget restrained business.

Little facts not mentioned... (5, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778365)

They had been offering them to schools for 75% off at the end of last year, and there seems to be no minimum number of Chromebooks for them to count a school amongst their number, so any school that bought one as a bonus for the gym teacher could potentially be among the 2,000.

Best of luck to Google, but I can't help but think if Apple or Dell or HP had offered a 75% discount they would have found a lot more than 1,000 buyers in three months.

Re:Little facts not mentioned... (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778579)

if Apple or Dell or HP had offered a 75% discount they would have found a lot more than 1,000 buyers in three months

To reach the same price the % should be higher, though...

It is mentioned (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778615)

They had been offering them to schools for 75% off at the end of last year, and there seems to be no minimum number of Chromebooks for them to count a school amongst their number, so any school that bought one as a bonus for the gym teacher could potentially be among the 2,000.

Best of luck to Google, but I can't help but think if Apple or Dell or HP had offered a 75% discount they would have found a lot more than 1,000 buyers in three months.

It is not only mentioned its linked to a whole article about it "See also – Google and DonorsChoose.org offer schools Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks for $99 each". I a little confused why you think a high maintenance computers with high maintenance OS would win out in a school environment, and these computers are not just cheap they are $99. The only surprise is the offer was on the atom models, where I think the ARM ones would have been a better fit. Interestingly HP are offering a new Chromebook it says it in the article.

Re:It is mentioned (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779681)

It is not only mentioned its linked to a whole article about it "See also – Google and DonorsChoose.org offer schools Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks for $99 each". I a little confused why you think a high maintenance computers with high maintenance OS would win out in a school environment, and these computers are not just cheap they are $99. The only surprise is the offer was on the atom models, where I think the ARM ones would have been a better fit. Interestingly HP are offering a new Chromebook it says it in the article.

I wonder how Intel's recent announcements regarding current desktop processors and motherboards will impact the future of low end atom models?

Re:Little facts not mentioned... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778967)

Apple and Microsoft "donate" thousands and thousands of obsolete and refurbished ipads and computers to schools every year in an effort to get kids to become reliant on their products. Here's one example. [digitaltrends.com] At least google is giving these schools modern hardware that isn't refurbished or otherwise unsellable crap.

Modern hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42782399)

Have you actually seen the specs??? It is actually worst than the cheapest piece of crap Netbook from ACER.

Re:Little facts not mentioned... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779665)

Best of luck to Google, but I can't help but think if Apple or Dell or HP had offered a 75% discount they would have found a lot more than 1,000 buyers in three months.

Actually that is exactly the same model that Apple and Dell and HP offered to schools when they were first entering the education market. Microsoft still does with software (most schools get windows and office for pennies on the dollar compared to consumers and business).

Re:Little facts not mentioned... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780207)

That's $50.00 a laptop. We'll take all of them. How many you got?

I'm sorry (0)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778371)

But i don't think a there should be any electronic devices at schools, in a few years we will be paying an expensive price for this, when this kids grow up and have their brains all f*cked up with several disorders due to all this network style education, the brain needs to make effort, to be bored, all this new education techniques with this devices seems like a badly flash EPROM on your brain.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778541)

Too late. Way too late. In fact, I have a theory about 'ol Ray's Singularity thingy.

It's going to happen in some classroom in suburban white collar America. The density of electronic thingys in the room, doing absolutely nothing except for an occasional text message and rendering a couple of plastered pigs, coupled with enough Wifi bandwith to cook lunch will result in a self aware network that will promptly reach sentience, scare the shit out of itself and shut up forever.

We were so close.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778561)

Nothing a little ultraviolet can't fix.

Re:I'm sorry (3, Insightful)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780389)

I disagree entirely at the college level at least.

For engineering classes if you can't solve a problem with a computer you are not a very useful engineer and the way you solve problems on a computer is a learned skill. Just knowing how to solve a problem by hand with a LOT of the simplifications needed to solve a problem by hand help in any way at all for solving a real problem with a simulation program like HYSYS.

Heck knowing how to solve a problem by hand does not even translate very well to solve the same kinds of problems in Excel much less Matlab but with far fewer assumptions. Many of the students in my class are having a very hard time with the homework because we have mostly moved beyond hand solvable problems and they don't have the computer skills necessary to solve them effectively on computers. Even the exams seem to be slowly changing to more setup and understanding.

Even the law expects engineers to look stuff up instead of going from memory. Memorization has no real place in learning anymore. You need to learn how to work with technology effectively to solve problems. If you define yourself based on competing with computers you are going to lose badly.

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781865)

Solving problems effectively with excel is an oxymoron.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784935)

Solving problems effectively with excel is an oxymoron.

I've got an imported list of ten thousand different numbers and want the total. Using Excel is going to be as effective as anything else, because spreadsheets are perfectly fine for adding up numbers.

Not all problems are complex mathematical models.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

tyrione (134248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782521)

As a Mechanical Engineer, the Computer is only valueable for data acquisition. All the knowledge comes from the Engineer's Brain and some test calculations he/she has made with their designs, all accessible from a calculator. Once the data acquistion systems are in place [from small to large scale] the next step is to write some routines whether in Matlab, Octave, or whatnot as a means of taking the data stored from the database or spreadsheet and then used to run large matrix computations over hundreds to millions of data points, depending upon the accuracy and closed system you are testing. The OP who discussed brain rot is correct.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782907)

The computer is also valuable for data simulation. If you want to do a liquid-liquid extraction or run a distillation column where your species are not independent the math is just too long and complex for a human to solve in any reasonable time span and with any real accuracy. It would take weeks to solve one of those problems that a computer can solve in seconds.

If you want to make a lot of approximations you can solve it far more rapidly but for a production system those approximations are not a good idea.

The really big problems come when you get to a full process system where you have reaction, separation and many parts. You quickly get beyond what any human can calculate correctly.

The engineer has to know how to setup those problems, they have to know the basics of how to solve any given part but when you have 20+ components the material balances alone end up being ridiculous, much less the energy balance when you start factoring in things like using waste heat from one stream to help heat up another stream.

Even for a simple multicomponent vapor-liquid single stage flash distillation you can solve a problem in excel that is very useful that is just not viable to do by hand. Solving the same problem by hand is 10s to thousands of iterations to solve. Once you know how to setup the problem there is no need to actually compete with it, Put the problem in and let it solve it.

I do suspect though that the kinds of problems that mechanical engineers solve and chemical engineers solve though are different. It does work well for cheme stuff from the practicing engineers I have worked with all pretty much all the tools for cheme stuff integrate with excel. HYSYS is amazing, but god is it complex.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783555)

TLDR: (My understanding) You proof once to your math teacher, than they let you use the computer the rest of the year for that one.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

Certhas (2310124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42784129)

You are mistaking an education for acquiring a set of skills to solve well defined problems.

Very different things.

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783411)

But i don't think a there should be any electronic devices at schools, in a few years we will be paying an expensive price for this, when this kids grow up and have their brains all f*cked up with several disorders due to all this network style education, the brain needs to make effort, to be bored, all this new education techniques with this devices seems like a badly flash EPROM on your brain.

Yes, because obviously what we should be doing is placing children in a technological void, it's clearly the way to ready for them for a world in which 90% of our work is done on computers!

Clearly, technology is harmful. Won't somebody think of the children?

brand awareness (1)

foobsr (693224) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778381)

Of course there will be no chance to improve on brand awareness if you own the education market (or part of it). And even if it were so, we need not be concerned, no evil would be involved.

CC.

Re:brand awareness (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783573)

Um, what do you think Apple did?

It [Apple II] was aggressively marketed through volume discounts and manufacturing arrangements to educational institutions which made it the first computer in widespread use in American secondary schools.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II_series/ [wikipedia.org]

Perfect for schools (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778429)

They don't run very much software so teachers don't have to worry about them loading games and crap on them.

Re:Perfect for schools (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783575)

But what about all the flash games they can play? FB games don't require install. . . FarmVille in class.

1: Google in schools

2: ?

3: Profite!

As a teacher... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778453)

As an educator I feel the Chrome OS has a lot of potential, but in it's current state it's the equivalent of an early palm pilot. Yes, my students could use Google Docs or look around on YouTube using a Chromebook. The issue comes in when Google Drive is underdeveloped (duplicating files with the same name etc) which confuses students and leads to me repeating myself over and over while students relearn software they've gotten used to, most web based suites are still slightly unwieldy compared to their MS Office counterparts (say I want them to create a podcast or moving film), and for what web-based apps there are it's a huge pain getting everyone registered and saving where they can remember to access it later. Much easier just to use office and a network drive.

Basically, I'm annoyed by teachers and educational "visionaries" who just think throwing tablets at students will solve all issues, when they merely can help but not in all circumstances (relative to the cost I can find better solutions at the moment). Sure, having a projector in the class helps me expand on lessons, but I see it used incorrectly more than not (teachers lecturing from powerpoint office style), and old-school teaching methods still make up a good portion of effective teaching. Chromebooks just feel like tablets with keyboards, I'd take an old windows XP laptop cart from the dusty corner of the library over Chromebooks at the moment. It will change within 5 years I'm sure, but at the moment Chromebooks just seem like a waste of limited school funds.

Re:As a teacher... (1, Troll)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778637)

As a parent, I'm ashamed and worried that an 'Educator' could be pushing Microsoft products to children, when children in, say, China (the world's biggest country by population) and India are learning to use free software and are preparing to wipe North American kids intellect off the board with what they are learning.

I'll take an educator who has the vision to prepare kids for the future any day over an edumacator who just wants the status quo of giving kids an edumacation.
Any teacher not willing to take kids into the future should quit. Period.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

whoop (194) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779103)

But, but, making kids learn to use a different product?? That is just Ka-Razy! Kids need to only know one product and that is all. Why, if they learn to navigate menus in too many different applications, they're liable to go and use something that doesn't make me money!

It's been a long while since I left the tech-support field, but that was one of my biggest pet peeves. Far too many people, who's job is to use a computer, just learn "Hit Alt-F, S, type document.doc, press Enter" and do not truly know what saving a file is, how to use a file/directory structure, etc. Drop another program in front of them, and they are completely helpless.

As an Anonymous Coward (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778733)

As an educator I feel

I doubt judging by your comments you have been near a school. The reality is a computer has no unique characteristics in a school environment, and the fact that Microsoft Office to you is essential really says it all. I'm sorry I wouldn't touch an old XP laptop over a chromebook in a school environment [especially for the reasons you state] for reasons of battery life and maintenance alone, The fact that these devices are ideal for children from a cost/size perspective shows either your extreme ignorance or subterfuge.

Re:As a teacher... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778845)

MS Office
[...]
waste of limited school funds

Fully agreed.

Re:As a teacher... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779321)

I agree as well, the issue is that schools have already spent tens of thousands on MS Office. While it is there and paid for it makes no sense not to use it. I do not teach technology as the core of my subject, I look for ways to meaningfully integrate it into the curriculum while still meeting the standards for subject content required by the state. I would love nothing more than to spend a month getting students used to Google Docs/openoffice or whatever else. In reality I have to squeeze the technology in alongside my deadlines. In addition installing openoffice or google drive on school computers involves a LOT of red tape and far ahead planning to get it installed.

As far as XP being EOL and insecure, I also agree as well. The issue is that in schools Linux doesn't exist, Windows 8/7/Vista was skipped over, and most of the tech budget goes towards iPads and iMacs. So I'm either using Mountain Lion on top of the line Macs (great but limited), iPads which are biased towards content consumption, or Windows XP.

So my argument wasn't that office is "essential," more that it's the current standard many schools are built around (for better or worse), I don't have time to always teach completely new tech concepts (thus it saves time to build on software the students know) and 95% of my students couldn't care less if they're using MS or outdated products (remember, I don't teach tech ed). I have enough of a problem repeating over and over to go through the start menu and use Firefox instead of IE when we are in the lab. Anybody who thinks they can go in and have students undertake a new OS/software while completing a standards based project while ALSO being limited to three days in a lab has not taught a class as of late.

To repeat my original thesis, Chrome OS will be there within five years I just think it's too soon. Kind of how people overestimated the impact of ebooks on physical media, they're also overestimating the impact of ipads/chromebooks on education. My guess is the current round of laptops/desktops will be the last traditional sets most schools will ever have to buy but the wheels turn slowly.

Re:As a teacher... (0)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778875)

Very funny, you are not an Educator as you say. If you are I feel sorry for your students being locked in to Microsoft software. Saying you will use XP, an OS at EOL and insecure, shows you know nothing about Computing and have nothing to teach your students about it.

Re:As a teacher... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779407)

Hate to break it to you, O Wise One, but there are still a bazillion XP computers being used out there in the business and government worlds, most of them being used primarily to run Office. And since you clearly haven't gotten the memo, XP isn't at EOL yet; the date has been pushed back to 8/2014...and counting.

At least this educator is teaching the kids some employable skills that they can list on their resumes. Sorry, but "Experience using Google Docs on a Chromebook" isn't anywhere on most HR checklists, not even at Google.

I honestly feel sorry for any educators who have to deal with you.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#42786793)

Windows XP resides on more than 1/3rd of all computers, 3x as many as OS X and about 20x the number running Linux. It is slightly behind Windows 7.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778951)

Using MS Office is a even greater waste of funds. I find Chromebooks to be fast, efficient, and highly productive vs the drudgery of maintaining Windows, Office, Flash, Adobe Reader, Etc.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42785955)

Using MS Office is a even greater waste of funds. I find Chromebooks to be fast, efficient, and highly productive vs the drudgery of maintaining Windows, Office, Flash, Adobe Reader, Etc.

So if you use a Chromebook, it magically never needs to be maintained? It doesn't use Flash, Adobe Reader, etc?

The fact that Google is, in fact, updating them silently behind your back does not strike me as a step forward in security or efficiency.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

gozar (39392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779401)

There aren't "duplicating files with the same name" in Google Drive, or at least I've never seen it. What confuses people is when they can't let go of the "document can be in only one folder" paradigm. Under Google Drive, the same document can exists in multiple places. Confusing? Maybe, but a lot more powerful than the old way.

Re:As a teacher... (4, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42779771)

As an educator I feel the Chrome OS has a lot of potential, but in it's current state it's the equivalent of an early palm pilot. Yes, my students could use Google Docs or look around on YouTube using a Chromebook. The issue comes in when Google Drive is underdeveloped (duplicating files with the same name etc) which confuses students and leads to me repeating myself over and over while students relearn software they've gotten used to, most web based suites are still slightly unwieldy compared to their MS Office counterparts (say I want them to create a podcast or moving film), and for what web-based apps there are it's a huge pain getting everyone registered and saving where they can remember to access it later. Much easier just to use office and a network drive.

Basically, I'm annoyed by teachers and educational "visionaries" who just think throwing tablets at students will solve all issues, when they merely can help but not in all circumstances (relative to the cost I can find better solutions at the moment). Sure, having a projector in the class helps me expand on lessons, but I see it used incorrectly more than not (teachers lecturing from powerpoint office style), and old-school teaching methods still make up a good portion of effective teaching. Chromebooks just feel like tablets with keyboards, I'd take an old windows XP laptop cart from the dusty corner of the library over Chromebooks at the moment. It will change within 5 years I'm sure, but at the moment Chromebooks just seem like a waste of limited school funds.

Your comments about it being easier to just use office are exactly why Microsoft basically gave Office away for almost free to schools. The idea was to make it so common that switching was hard to do. Face it, do students really need a word process that was designed for legal offices? Do they need a spreadsheet that was designed for engineers? Most of the components of Office are so overkill for primary and secondary education that one has to wonder why education is so in love with it.

There is an answer for that. Education is no longer about teaching kids math and science and history, but instead preparing them to enter the workforce. Microsoft Office is the dominant office suite in business so by indoctrinating children in how to use it, business doesn't have to expend their resources on training employees. We have accepted that knowing Microsoft Office is needed to succeed in life so now it is taught along with math, science, english and history.

This isn't new, it used to be a lot of people took typing in high school because it would help them in the business world. The difference is that once you learned how to type on a typewriter, you could type on any typewriter. The same is not true for office suites (other than the actual typing part). Excel and Lotus and OpenOffice were quite different except for the most basic of tasks. Same, too, for Word, WordPerfect and OpenOffice.

Apple, pretty much gave away computers to California schools, because they knew that the kids would grow up knowing how to use Apple computers and it would build a loyal customer base for them. Microsoft took it a step further and did it with Windows and Office to not just the West Coast, but the entire country.

And because of that, we have teachers (and school boards) believing it is too difficult to change, because whatever they are changing to is different. But, as a teacher myself, my role is not to indoctrinate students, but to enable them to think for themself. Yes, they use Microsoft products, but they are free to use other software, too. Yes, it does sometimes create more work for me, but in the days before computers, kids with poor penmanship did, too. That didn't mean that I didn't make the effort to teach them or grade their assignments.

Educators and education shouldn't be hesitant about investigating new ways of teaching. Giving how locked in most of us are to the established technologies, it is a wonder that we ever gave up the old chalk boards for dry erase and smart boards. That said, technology always needs to be kept in perspective. It is a tool to be used in teaching. It is a means to an end, not the end, itself.

Re:As a teacher... (3, Insightful)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780485)

I do have to give Excel a lot of credit though for being very good at engineering tasks. I have tried to use openoffice but it is just missing too many of the engineering type tools. The excel solver is VERY good and excel has a bunch of stats stuff needed.

Excel can even be integrated with various engineering tools like HYSYS or Matlab and do some truly amazing things. I do like openoffice but I also have to be realistic that for engineering tasks you need to learn excel. My professors all expect us to use Excel, Matlab, HYSYS and other tools for our homework. If you don't know how to use those tools the odds are you won't pass the class. The problems are too complex to solve by hand and while you can use any other tool you want the odds of doing it well enough to solve the problems is pretty low.

A regular user does not need even a tiny fraction of the power that excel has and could easily use even stuff like google docs.

One way or another education is going to radically change in the next 20 years. Schools are either going to adapt to more modern technology or at least the colleges will be replaced because they are so darned expensive. Something like the khan academy or other online learning systems are not any worse and usually far better than any of the large lecture classes.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42786043)

The difference is that once you learned how to type on a typewriter, you could type on any typewriter. The same is not true for office suites (other than the actual typing part). Excel and Lotus and OpenOffice were quite different except for the most basic of tasks. Same, too, for Word, WordPerfect and OpenOffice.

Well (1) that is because all typewriters were/are basically the same and (2) the differences between any two spreadsheets or word processors are really quite trivial.

My 8 year old daughter uses Gnucalc and Abiword at home quite happily even though they use MS Office at school.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780849)

Basically, I'm annoyed by teachers and educational "visionaries" who just think throwing tablets at students will solve all issues, when they merely can help but not in all circumstances (relative to the cost I can find better solutions at the moment). Sure, having a projector in the class helps me expand on lessons, but I see it used incorrectly more than not (teachers lecturing from powerpoint office style), and old-school teaching methods still make up a good portion of effective teaching. Chromebooks just feel like tablets with keyboards, I'd take an old windows XP laptop cart from the dusty corner of the library over Chromebooks at the moment. It will change within 5 years I'm sure, but at the moment Chromebooks just seem like a waste of limited school funds.

Even from your own example, it's not the Chrome books that are the problem, it's the teacher wasting the student's time.

I am so incredibly jealous of kids today. My youth was wasted in public schools learning nothing. When I was young, I read the encyclopedia for fun at home, went to the public library to take out science books, while being bored witless in school. I'm so happy for kids now a days who can get out of that soul crushing hell, stay home with a parent, and fire up Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and even online college courses.

If nothing else, even if they can't escape the government labor indoctrination camps in the day, they can breathe free and learn at night. There has never been a better time for a kid who wants to learn and a chrome book and net access make a door to that world. There isn't any better use of educational funds.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783105)

Education will find you a job. Self education will find you your fortune.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42786147)

Education will find you a job. Self education will find you your fortune.

A proper education will make you realise that finding a fortune is not the royal road to happiness.

Re:As a teacher... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42786131)

I'm so happy for kids now a days who can get out of that soul crushing hell, stay home with a parent, and fire up Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and even online college courses.

Staying at home and playing on the internet is not the same as being educated.

Yeah, I know everyone on slashdot is a genius who could read at one year and program at two, but the rest of us did actually benefit from interaction with good teachers, a sensible curriculum, relevant testing, not to mention social interaction.

Re:As a teacher... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781131)

Well, my Kids are not allowed to use the computers in their schools, not because I don't want them to use them, but because they want me to sign a 20 page document on behalf of my kids (it is the same document the teachers have to sign to use the computer facilities) and it's draconian at the worse (mostly since it states the "user" is responsible for everything and I can not justify having my kids (and myself by proxy since I have to sign it on their behalf) be responsible for a network the teacher/school force the kids to use....

So, the teacher calls me 2 months into the course and explains how my son will not be able to do a project and what do I want to do about it; I said, do you have a library.... anyways, dead silence. My son thinks the librarian is great by the way and he had no problems doing the assignment. I really do think technology at that level (my son is in grade 5 for those interested) is a crutch that should not be used. Teach a kid to use an index in a library and they'll never have a problem using a search engine, the other way around is NOT going to happen.

 

Clever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778479)

Anyone have a clue as to how much schools are paying for Chromebooks?

Apple tried to capture the early-education market but didn't manage to lock it up. (They wanted too much profit on the hardware?) Microsoft did much better at dominating the higher-education market with (almost) free software for students and profs, which carried them into dominance in the business world. If Google will (almost) give away the Chromebooks, I suspect they can capture the teenage/young adult market, making their money on content sales and ads. Even slow-to-catch-on Microsoft recognizes that this, not hardware or software, is the place money will now be made. Note how Metro, err, Win 8, turns your desktop into a tablet/media consumption device, The market for computers that actually do things, as opposed to watching media or Facebooking, is no longer of much interest to corporate.

Re:Clever! (2)

Ayanami_R (1725178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778559)

Apple's edu discounts are still a joke. I used to work in education IT and would advise principals on tech decisions. Many of them wanted apple, but couldn't stomach the bill. By the time we add in the same warranty and service coverage that our PC's get (lenovo), it gets even higher. It was about 650 a seat versus 1000 overall.

Re:Clever! (1)

Dzimas (547818) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778719)

Just before Christmas the offer was $99 for a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. At that price, it makes a lot of sense for schools to pick up 10 or 20 if they can squeeze them into the budget. PCs would cost 5X as much, MacBook Airs would be 10X the price.

Re:Clever! (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780741)

Because every school is wired for WiFi in all classrooms...

big brother books to spy on you at school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778489)

yeah, google and big government, a match made in heaven!

welcome to the dumbopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778593)

I remember I felt dumber and left behind when I used a PowerPC at high school, I can only imagine what these kids will feel when they realise they cannot even use a Windows PC because they have to discard 5-10 years worth of muscle memory and learnt techniques on a chrome book.....

thats if they even get to use them, no doubt there would be social network related mischief if they aren't sufficiently locked down.

The world as we see it today is splintered into all of these very powerful corporate entities tugging against us in many different ways, two major desktop OS'es, many up and coming Linux based ones, three tablet OS'es, touchscreen devices on our fridges, in our cars...

by the time a kid reaches 10 years old he has probably already set 50,000 VCR clocks.

is this a good thing or not? I think that if I were a kid growing up in today's world I would be very confused, and when you are trying to learn confusion is a very bad thing...

Learn computing through muscle memory is stupid (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778657)

I remember I felt dumber and left behind

There is probably a really good reason for that. You have to remember that Android is going to overtake windows as the primary OS this year...by the time these children leave school, it could be a very different world, and right now, having seen Microsoft beg for youtube and googe maps its a new world order.

iPads/Android tablets in school? (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778751)

Sorry, but I know schools and I know computers for long enough time. Every time I hear "iPads bought for kids" or "Android tablets bought for classes", I sarcastically laugh a bit. Can't help it. Really? I love Android, but sorry, this is very far fetched.

Usually discovering underneath it's just a PR sale with heavy discount, or some politicians trying to buy votes before elections.

It's nothing to do with using computers properly in educational programs.

Re:iPads/Android tablets in school? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780239)

India has a program to deliver Android tablets to their students over the next 10 years. All 1 billion of them.

All the kids in our family have Android tabs and use them for fun, communication and education - starting at 2 years old. There are even special things for special needs kids, like autism.

Some of them are showing interest in programming at an early age.

Own a Chromebook for college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778785)

I own a Samsung Chromebook, arm based one. So far it's been almost perfect for school (taking price into considering, there are better options but for a lot more money). For taking notes I have Google Docs, severely limited compared to even abiword which I used in combination with dropbox for taking notes on a old p4 laptop I used in the past (offline especially, which accounts for all my classes this semester as there off site). But it still fulfills the requirement of taking notes and being able to backup the data online (I have to download google docs as a different file type such as docx as for some reaosn there is no offline google docs for the actual document file, though you can create a new file. Wierd and I hope Google fixes that oversight soon)

But for note taking you don't need much and I find Google Docs adequate, found that it really forces you to focus on spelling and grammer in comparison to MS Word as there is no spelling/grammer check that I know of. The best you have is chrome telling you something is mispelled like a few things in my post already. So it forces the student to correct themselves. Or at the very least save it as another file type when their done and load it up onto MS Word to use spelling/grammer check. So strangely enough for school I give Google another point here as it forces them to not rely on technology as much to correct papers as at most it will highlight mispelled words (which I ignored some in my post).

So for my college needs it fulfills it. Which was take notes, write papers, internet access to go on blackboard and research. All of which it does quite well. To be blunt this is what a netbook is suppose to be, cheap low power device that gets the basics done.

Beyond that the keyboard on this laptop is superior to every laptop I have used minus a macbook pro I had the pleasure of using before for a short while (having used some pretty bad keyboards on laptops this is a big plus). The OS has a "Self Heal", everything auto updates. And it's made with raw simplicity and security in mind, 128bit AES encryption for user data for example which I consider a big plus considering it's a mobile device and in my opinion encryption is a must.

Re:Own a Chromebook for college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779183)

Jesus. Spend 10 minutes to find out how your Chromebook works. Google Docs underlines misspelled words using an integrated dictionary. Simply right click on the underlined word and it provides suggestions and gives you the option of adding the word to your personal dictionary.

Re:Own a Chromebook for college (1)

mattr (78516) | about a year and a half ago | (#42782317)

Does it correct their/they're? Can't tell if poster willingly ignored it or Chrome missed it.
Funny how it sounds so hugely limited despite being automatically updated by Google. They just don't care? Or is there some ecosystem of which poster is not aware?

Re:Own a Chromebook for college (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42786193)

But for note taking you don't need much and I find Google Docs adequate, found that it really forces you to focus on spelling and grammer in comparison to MS Word as there is no spelling/grammer check that I know of

That has got to be a troll. No one could seriously present that as an advantage.

Number is worthless (1)

Jiro (131519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42778883)

Anything which can grow an unlimited amount until it runs out of resources (whether those resources are food, number of potential customers, or almost anything else) follows an S-shaped curve where it grows slowly, then more rapidly, then more slowly as the supply (in this case the supply of people who might have a need for the product) becomes saturated.

As a result, claiming that a product is rapidly growing by some large-sounding percentage is basically always BS. Any product can easily have a 100% rapid growth rate at some point on the adoption curve. This does not mean that it's going to grow at 100% forever, it's going to grow until it saturates the market, and this tells us little about the size of that market. If the market was any number somewhat greater than 2000 even if it was small compared to the actual number of schools in the world, we'd still get a 100% growth rate.

But I bet a headline "Chromebook has not yet saturated its market" wouldn't get as many ad impressions.

This is also true for ideas. The fact that some religion is growing at a rapid rate may just means it appeals to 0.5% of the population, but it only has converted a segment of that 0.5% and is still on the steep part of its curve.

The initial enthusiasm doesn't count (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42778947)

This is initial enthusiasm, much like net books or Surface RT. When people find that it can't be used for productive work or that it is slow and unwieldy, they'll lose interest. There is usuallu a huge gap between the initial growth and ubiquity..

Re:The initial enthusiasm doesn't count (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779245)

No, unlike those Microsoft failures this isn't one of them.

What can be done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779149)

... without a Wifi connection with a Chromebook? Is this a trojan to get schools to pay for some pretty fat data pipes?

It ought to be fun to maintain.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779633)

As someone who used to work in a school district as IT Support, I feel bad for all those tech guys that now how to figure out to maintain all this new stuff. Educators love shiny new objects and never consider such things as imaging, software deployments, user logon, existing network shares (and permissions), etc etc etc. I'm glad I don't have to worry about it anymore. "Why isn't Safari installed on these?" "Why does Little Johnny's computer screen have a Ubuntu logo on it now?" "Why is it taking you so long to put these in my classroom...they were delivered to your office two whole days ago!!!" "What do you mean it won't run Autocad?"

Hell. Pure, unadulterated hell.

Re:It ought to be fun to maintain.... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780247)

Wherein AC demonstrates his complete ignorance of how a Chromebook works.

Re:It ought to be fun to maintain.... (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780701)

Chrome books don't just land in a modern classroom. Students will have to login, so that usage policies can be enforced, etc.

While some of AC's comments miss the mark, the teacher complaints are spot-on.

Re:It ought to be fun to maintain.... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42781965)

I know some about this in actual practice in a US major market school district. I pads, Android tablets, Chrome books are almost zero deployment effort and cost compared to Windows PCs and laptops. Lower unit, deployment and management costs mean using this new tech puts the tech in the hands of more students at the same cost.

Overcoming the digital divide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42779901)

Integrating new technologies into schools is vital for children's successful futures, especially in low-income or rural school districts. Children in schools with outdated technology are faced with a serious disadvantage later in life. The digital divide affects a large population of our country and sets other-wise intelligent children back and limits their future success. With technology like Chromebook, there is little service and update fee which allow this technology to be sustainable in the classroom for many years.

Although many could argue that our transition into an online world has it's consequences, there is no doubt that it is happening and children need to be educated on this new type of world and how to succeed in it.

Who's paying for these? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780063)

Is google giving these plus all the support costs away for free?

Both my wife and my sister are elementary school teaches, and they struggle to get basic school supplies. Parent's are asked at the beginning of the year to have each child provide reams of paper, pencils and even cleaning supplies for the classroom.

They even have to buy their own dry erase markers...

To think we put men on the moon and brought them safely back using people that grew up studying books... but in this age of instant gratification... youtube will win out...

Re:Who's paying for these? (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780671)

Convince your voters to fire for increased property/state taxes to buy these items.

Putting a man on the moon was a technical challenge, buying school supplies is a matter of funding.

Desktop OS (1)

John Biggabooty (591838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780167)

Can these make Google Chrome the Linux distro that isn't just a plaything for a million undirected tinkerers, but a real desktop OS to replace Windows? I hope so. It is a shame BeOs is dead. I liked it.

I thought they were just web oriented... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42780231)

I thought Chromebooks were just very web oriented. The whole of the internet need not be up to use them. You can connect wirelessly to a local application server. For example, you can start LibreOffice in a web browser (such as a Chromebook) like this [documentfoundation.org] . The version of LibreOffice can be on a server in the principal's office, and kids can connect wirelessly to the classroom router, connected to the server. I haven't tried this, but I could see a school completely disconnected from the internet able to use chromebooks in the classroom.

Hate cloud printing (2)

bp+m_i_k_e (901456) | about a year and a half ago | (#42780383)

Bought a Chromebook for a family member for a gift - without realizing that the only printing option was "cloud printing." I hate it. I have to replace my barely-used color laser printer or setup a PC in the house to effectively be the print "server." Even so, I really think it bites to send print jobs through the "cloud" when the printer is five feet away.

Re:Hate cloud printing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42781175)

Google wants to be able to see everything you print, that's why. In the past you could just print out a bunch of things and no one would know...but if it has to go through "cloud printing" now Google (and the government) get to see it all!

Re: no one would know... (1)

peacefool (1920042) | about a year and a half ago | (#42808561)

A software company chief research officer reassures the AC, that "if you go and buy a color laser printer from any major laser printer manufacturer [nowadays] and print a page, that page will end up having slight yellow dots printed on every single page in a pattern which makes the page unique to you and to your printer." [ted.com] , "Mikko Hypponen: Three types of online attack".

Which one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42780391)

ARM Or Intel?

What about students' privacy? (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42783471)

I don't think that a platform which is based on collecting private data from its users should be adopted in schools.

It's fine if somebody who is adult, is informed about the consequence of his actions, and is free to choose among other options, picks up a Chromebook. I use many services from Google myself. But minors being forced to use them, doesn't seem right to me.

And besides, Chromebooks are walled gardens, so schools will need to buy real computers anyway if they don't want to train their students into content consumption only.

Re:What about students' privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793335)

I think adding in this technology into schools is a great way to introduce safety online to children. A smart move for Google would be to require online safety instruction with each Chromebook given to the school. With technology evolving so quickly, most parents aren't able to fully educate their children on the harmful consequence of the web.

Um? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42783991)

High adoption rate or 1000 new schools finally filled their orders?

Chromebooks and Windows applications (1)

AGVirt (2391434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42785147)

Once Google dropped the price, added more offline capabilities and improved the hardware, the Chromebook was bound to take off. Education was the correct market to target, as the Chromebook is easy to manage and use, and starts up super-fast. 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 third party 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. For more information about AccessNow for Chromebooks in Education, visit: http://www.ericom.com/Education-ChromebookRDPClient.asp?URL_ID=708 [ericom.com] Please note that I work for Ericom

re (1)

newnewshop (2750961) | about a year and a half ago | (#42806131)

I am no longer a student.However, what significance does it have? If you are using Chormebooks, will save resources?I think this it will be! However, this practice is not also destroy the ability of the students hands-on writing!
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