A Chromebook runs a Linux-based operating system called ChromeOS
Chromebooks are made by a range of manufacturers
They are designed with the cloud in mind
There are thousands of apps and extensions available, many of them free
Traditional methods of learning and teaching still have an important place in education and will continue in our school. Chromebooks should be seen as an educational tool, not as a replacement for these methods. We will train our teachers and teach our students to use these devices productively and appropriately.
We recommend buying a 14″ model with a Full HD screen (1920 x 1080) with an Mediatek, Intel Celeron or Pentium processor. 11.6″ screens won’t allow you to see enough of the screen when using things like Photopea or OnShape, so although they are highly portable they will quickly be outgrown by the students. Something like the Acer 314 or the HP 14a will be perfect – cheap, reliable, and easy to repair if the screen breaks.
Please check the Auto Update Policy before buying a Chromebook. This is the date from when the Chromebook will stop receiving updates. Some models like the Asus C423 are still being sold but have an AUE date of June 2024, which would mean your Chromebook would quickly become obsolete. You can find the list here: http://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366?hl=en
Current best deals (Updated 23/08/23)
Refurbished (As good as new but much cheaper)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/195837372843 – Acer 314-2HT – 14″ Full HD, 4Gb Ram, 128Gb storage, 1 year warranty, £139.97 – EOL June 2028
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/195837342964 – Acer 314-2HT – 14″ Full HD, 4Gb Ram, 64Gb storage, 1 year warranty, £124.97 – EOL June 2028
http://www.currys.co.uk/products/lenovo-ideapad-slim-3-14-chromebook-mediatek-kompanio-520-64-gb-emmc-blue-10248395.html – Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3 – 14″ Full HD, 4Gb Ram, 64Gb storage, 1 year warranty, £199.99 – EOL June 2032
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-IdeaPad-Slim-Chromebook-Laptop/dp/B0C9LZFN32 – Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3 – 14″ Full HD, 4Gb Ram, 64Gb storage, 1 year warranty, £199.99 – EOL June 2032
http://www.currys.co.uk/products/acer-314-14-chromebook-mediatek-mt8183c-128-gb-emmc-silver-10240176.html – Acer 314-2HT – 14″ Full HD, 4Gb Ram, 128Gb storage, 1 year warranty, £199.99 – EOL June 2028
If you buy a Chromebook between the 17th July -3rd October 2023 you can get a free copy of Minecraft. After signing into the Chromebook with your personal/family link account go to http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/chromebook/perks/ and click on ‘Get Perk’ under Minecraft.
During the Year 7 trial we extensively drop tested several cases from Amazon. This case offered the best protection from the ones we tried:
In a future where technology will underpin almost all future roles (according to experts including the World Economic Forum), it is incumbent on us all to prepare our students for this digital future and equip them with the requisite skills and expertise. Drawing on insights from across the globe, we observe the widespread adoption of personalised and collaborative digital learning into schools and note that the pandemic only served to accelerate this trajectory. It is easy to forget that Facebook and Google, some of today’s most valuable companies globally, did not exist 17 and 23 years ago respectively and a reminder that we must prepare our students for a future workplace that might not yet exist today.
With digital expertise and competence threaded into our teaching, we can ensure all students have equal access to digital skills and can thrive in the digital world. Students will strengthen their collaborative skills in project-based learning and become more adept at researching, analysing and presenting their ideas in a digital context. Ultimately, in the future, our students will need to solve problems that do not yet exist, and be able to confidently draw on their creative problem-solving and digital skills.
Aylesbury Grammar School is adopting a 1:1 system, where students will have their own Chromebook device in every lesson. Chromebooks will not be a replacement of our existing excellent teaching. Pen and paper and all the traditional teaching excellence will continue in the classroom and this is especially important whilst public exams continue to be paper-based. Instead, the Chromebooks will bring an additional teaching tool into the classroom, enabling students to conduct extensive research in support of their learning, collaborate in project-based learning and access more personalised learning with greater scope for extension tasks and supportive frameworks.
Some of the key benefits of Chromebooks to students are :
Chromebooks, as a device, offer a number of advantages :
There is no compulsion to buy a Chromebook but we hope that parents and students will be sufficiently convinced of the benefits of owning a device that can be used both in school and at home that they do choose to purchase one.
Students who don’t have a Chromebook (or have forgotten it on the day) will need to collect one from the Library each morning and return it each afternoon; those devices can’t be taken home. If you would like your child to borrow a Chromebook on a daily basis, please complete this short online form: http://forms.gle/BVKN1i7peA7NFymW8
Students who attract Pupil Premium can use their funding to purchase Chromebook via the school. Other parents who face financial hardship can apply for financial support, please submit this in writing to the Headmaster.
We have visited other schools running 1:1 iPad and laptop programmes and consulted in-depth with our teachers. We learned that iPads are great tools for consuming media but they are not as good for creating content and allowing our students to work collaboratively. Whilst the range of applications available on iPads and Android is vast, many of the resources that teachers currently use in IT Suites would not be available.
We also looked at traditional Windows, Mac and Linux laptops. Although these devices are indeed more powerful, they are also more complex, more expensive and have poorer battery lifetimes. These devices would not be managed by the school and therefore not manageable as a class learning tool.
The simplicity of the Chromebook overcomes these barriers so that the focus will be on learning. They are fully compatible with the Google Apps and add-ons that we will be using for teaching and learning.
From a schools perspective, there are two very important issues that make the Chromebook our device of choice:
The IT engineers cannot support and fix multiple types of devices, nor can our teachers be expected to understand the different problems that they will present in the classroom. Chromebooks all operate in the same way. A Windows notebook operates differently from a Windows tablet, Microsoft Windows operating systems are very different and we could have devices operating various operating systems from XP to Windows 10. Android is very different from Apple’s operating systems and these vary from MacBook to iPad. For example, if a student is struggling to connect to the wi-fi during a lesson where you find the settings for this will be dependent on the device being used and different routes around the device operating system will need to be taken on each.
The other issue for us as a school is our responsibility to Safeguarding and the Prevent Agenda. One of the apps we talk about is the Google Management Licence which we deploy to the Chromebooks when we enrol them onto our system. There are a few other devices that can be enrolled but not many. We need this for security and management. This app allows us to manage the students’ devices whilst in school. The other app we need to deploy is Senso which can only be deployed to a school managed device that is either enrolled in the Chrome Management system or in our Active directory. Senso monitors the devices’ use in school and among other things logs incidents of inappropriate behaviour. A teacher can also use Impero to manage a classroom of devices, make sure they stay on task, push out resources, share screens and much more.
Students will use Chromebooks in many different ways in lessons, there is not a one size fits all approach. Departments and teachers are best placed to judge when and how using chromebooks enhances the curriculum. Some lessons will use chromebooks extensively, whereas others won’t. As Chromebooks wake from sleep mode quickly, they can be used for short tasks between other classroom activities.
Chromebooks can be used in place of some work on paper which will help support students to embed everyday IT skills.
Even more excitingly, using chromebooks will enable students to engage in learning tasks previously not possible in conventional classrooms.
Please see the links below for some useful tips that may be helpful when setting up or using your new device;
Don’t forget the school’s IT policy. You should make sure that you are using your Chromebook appropriately. Any poor behaviour will result in sanctions as per the school’s behaviour policy.