Working on the Chromebook was far more pleasing and far more exciting than I thought it would be. I mean, I suppose I originally ruled it out as being an inferior machine…and I supposed it was DOA because it was internet only.
Yet, I survived, though not sure if I thrived, in using it as my stand alone machine for one week. The only production I did on my MBP was working with:
- a Pages file because I already had a working template (no way around this)
- excel because I had a number of schedules and planning documents that already existed (MBP because of time-deadline)
- my household YNAB budget (paid software that runs on my personal computer)
I spent the second half of my trial week comparing the Chromebook to my iPad. Should our school chose to go with Chromebooks next year I really believe it would serve as a great on-the-go machine. For my professional set-up, I am considering it as a wonderful third device. Reasons for this are:
- I loved having a dedicated keyboard
- I loved having native access to GDrive
- I loved having full access to Students Achieve – our web-based marking program (it just doesn’t work the way I need it to on my iPad as I cannot get .PDFs to open, and scrolling down does not work well)
- I loved being able to use a mouse at my desk
- I loved being able to cut and paste quickly
- I loved being able to quickly jump between windows and tabs (much, much, much more quickly than on my iPad)
- I loved having native Moodle access (rather than the web version of Moodle on the iPad)
But, one of the biggest pros for the iPad is how truly portable it is. I just grab it and hold it and walk around with it. I flip the cover over and am jotting stuff down or checking quick stuff so quickly. No need to lift the screen-lid…just one button and I’m up and running…
This is the truest test of a third device – how portable and easy it is to use? It must be more powerful (accessible and productive) than a smart phone. It also must be more handy than lugging your laptop around with you on-the-go away from your work space.
End of the day, well, end of the week for me – spending a week with the Chromebook has left me excited to consider this for our 1:1 project in our school. So far, all systems go!
For what it’s worth, students who will receive a Chromebook will access and produce material just fine…and students who have their own machines still have full access to Chrome and the entire Google suite.
Next step: What is the student experience like?