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Google Offers $99 Chromebooks For Education

| 7 Comments

Google announced today that Chromebooks for education will be available for $99 through December 21st (see the Reuters article, Google makes MIT prof’s dream of $100 laptops for students a reality).

I don’t know how realistic it is for teachers to arrange permissions through their district’s bureaucratic maze to make these kinds of purchases within two weeks, especially with the exclusive arrangements that many have with companies for their technology purchases, but it does demonstrate that perhaps costs for this kind of equipment can reach manageable levels eventually.

Of course, another potential problem is their compatibility, or lack of compatibility, with the upcoming technology requirements of the next generation of standardized testing.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

7 Comments

  1. I think you’re only touching the tip of the iceberg here, Larry. I agree, the ability for schools to circumnavigate the bureaucratic waters in time to take advantage of something like this is close to impossible. Either Google and Samsung really don’t understand the reality of most schools, or they’re aiming for the parents to exert force upon the districts.

    Beyond that there are several issues pertaining to a school’s infrastructure to handle such an influx of always-connected devices that rely on strong stable bandwidth. Top that off with whether or not schools should be making decisions about their main educational tool set based on the most carnal of consumeristic trends (buy it, it’s cheap!), and this seems like a big ball of hurt for any school district that hasn’t already decided to go with Chromebooks, has the infrastructure to support, and was just waiting for the right sale.

  2. I could see teachers themselves buying a few for their classroom. If I could get chromebooks in Canada, I would be picking up 5 + if google would allow it but this in and of itself is an issue. In the days of shrinking budgets, school districts would love nothing more then to have tech budgets subsidized by teachers.

    $99 is a sweet deal for sure!

  3. Hi Larry-

    Thanks for posting this. We have 3 class sets of Chromebooks and I can’t tell you how great they’ve been for our school. Wish we could participate in this latest deal, but alas we’re a private school, and can’t.

    Regarding compatibility w/ testing standards, on page 15 of the article, Chromebooks are listed as an ‘approved’ choice, so thankfully that will not be an issue for schools able to take advantage of this amazing offer!

  4. The Reuters article is an exceptionally bad piece of journalism, so it’s easy to miss how this promotion works. I only figured it out when I tried searching for how to purchase one.

    Google is only offering these $99 Chromebooks through Donors Choose. If you’re not familiar, it’s a crowd sourcing platform where you post a project, request materials, and Donors Choose collects the money, buys the materials, and sends them to you.

    In other words, no bureaucratic nightmare involved at all. The district doesn’t purchase anything, and nothing goes through board resolutions (although, technically, your district may have a regulation about passing a board resolution before accepting a donation such as this). And the deadline (Dec. 21) isn’t to actually purchase them; it’s to post a project. I think you have a few months for the project to be funded or not afterwards.

    I wish I had seen this sooner… by 11 PM last night, Donors Choose had stopped accepting new projects for the Chromebooks because there weren’t enough units to supply the demand. I didn’t have time to look into the details until my lunch break today at noon. Oh well.

    • Brian,

      Thanks for the clarification. However, at least in our district, we would still need to go through the District tech department in order to get permission to use a class set of Chromebooks in the classroom.

      Larry

  5. Pingback: $99 Chromebooks, Available for a Brief Moment Through Donor’s Choice | Tech and Teaching

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