The Best Chromebooks for Students

The Best Chromebooks for Students

Introducing a comprehensive technology program for K-12 students can be complex, and Chromebooks are an affordable and reliable solution. Schools have done a great job at providing Chromebooks to students and there is a lot to choose from. However, making the right Chromebook technology investment is essential. IT departments at school districts and private schools should consider Chromebooks based on three essential criteria: future-proof performance, flexibility, and sustainability.

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The Best Chromebooks for Students

To find the best Chromebooks for students, it's important to think about how technology and education are connected. Today all students need reliable, durable, and high-performing computing devices with seamless connectivity to achieve what the National Education Association has termed "digital equity," defined as:

"Digital equity ensures that all school-aged children have equal access to the resources they need for remote learning. These resources include internet and computer access. It is important for all children to have these resources, regardless of their circumstances. This ensures that they can fully engage in remote learning from home."

-- National Education Association, "Digital Equity for Students and Education Report"

Schools have done a great job at providing Chromebooks to students and there is a lot to choose from. However, making the right Chromebook technology investment is essential. IT departments at school districts and private schools should consider Chromebooks based on three essential criteria: future-proof performance, flexibility, and sustainability. 

Future-proofing for technology challenges with student Chromebooks

Many schools offered 1:1 devices to students during the pandemic. Today, because of the age of these devices and the increasing computing power needs for applications such as AI, it's time for a technology upgrade. Consider devices that can withstand the constant demands of schoolwork, can connect from anywhere, and offer a long-term plan for updates to ensure school district investments enjoy an excellent return on investment (ROI).

Chromebooks provide all the latest technological advancements with the processing power that students need today. Consider 4G and 8G RAM, at least 64G flash memory, and the processing power of Intel's N100 or N200 chipsets.

Additionally, consider your connectivity plan. Some schools are now extending their networks beyond the school walls with private LTE networks, as demonstrated in a recent implementation in Tukwila. School districts are looking to provide connectivity at home in addition to at school, regardless of student's economic situation and availability of a home network. Ensure your Chromebooks for students offer LTE connectivity capability. Thinking ahead, also ask about 5G potential connectivity plans as 5G reduced capability networks will eventually replace LTE.

One advantage that Chromebooks deliver over traditional laptops in the future-proof category is what's commonly called "AU," or Automatic Updates. According to Google, "Chrome devices (e.g. Chromebook, Chromebox, Chromebase, Chromebit) receive automatic updates that enhance both the device and its software. Automatic updates deliver the latest features, maintain device security, and apply across the operating system, browser, and hardware. Chromebooks receive 10 years of AUE." Longevity of use is built into Chromebooks, maximizing a school district's technology investment.

Flexibility and Affordability in Chromebooks for Students

Outfitting a school district or even a single private school with the best Chromebooks for students requires a lot of strategy, planning, and implementation tactics. Ensure that your Chromebook vendor offers program assistance to help design a program that fits your unique budget and program roll-out needs. Some topics to consider:

  1. Flexible purchase programs.

Are you purchasing Chromebooks, or open to a Chromebook rental program? Purchasing ensures the longevity of your buy, and can be bundled with self-repair training to ensure you're equipped for the occasional maintenance required. Consider rental programs, like CTL's ChromeOS-as-a-Service program, when you might want to leave the updating and maintenance to your vendor.

  1. Understand the warranties.

The Chromebook manufacturer warranty is the best for your hardware, and many manufacturers offer the optional extended warranty to protect your investment. Some third-party companies also offer an extended warranty, and if you choose to go this route, we suggest you thoroughly investigate their reviews and ability to deliver timely repairs with genuine parts as well as the up-front cost.

  1. Demo units.

Any reputable company will offer demo units such as CTL's Buy and Try program at deep discounts. This is a smart move to ensure that what you're buying will achieve your technology goals, integrate as intended, and provide a solid proof of concept without wasting any dollars.

Sustainability of Chromebooks for Students

Before launching a program of Chromebooks for students, ensure you consider the whole life cycle value. Some key questions to ask include:

  1. Do you want to buy Chromebooks that already incorporate recycled or refurbished electronics?
  2. What is your maintenance plan? Do you plan to maintain Chromebooks yourself, or will you outsource this function?
  3. What is your time horizon for trade-ins? Does your vendor offer buy-backs after a certain amount of time?
  4. Do the Chromebooks you are considering carry all the current and emerging sustainability certifications, such as FSC, Energy Star, Ecolabel, and others?
  5. Beyond the label, does your vendor engage in sustainability programs beyond the device, such as using renewable energy sources to produce the Chromebook or planting trees for each unit sold?

Sustainability in Chromebooks for students is a hot topic these days, and you can view the depth of the topic in CTL's Annual Sustainability Report

Benefits Of Chromebooks for Students

In today's digitally-driven world, technology has revolutionized education like never before. The introduction of Chromebooks has advanced contemporary academics. The benefits of Chromebooks for students are numerous and exponentially expanding the role of student computing in education. 

One of the most significant benefits of Chromebooks in the classroom is the ability to access a wide variety of educational resources for students. A gateway to knowledge, they offer instant online access to vital and up-to-date information, beyond the constraints of their textbooks. 

The best Chromebooks for school are built for rugged use by growing hands and minds. High-resolution displays, robust battery life, and portable designs are just a few of their inherent benefits. Protect your investment with additional rugged options such as hard cases and screen protectors.

Of course, the power of Google enhances the benefits of Chromebooks for students. The integrated suite of Google Workspace apps (formerly known as G-suite), including Docs, Sheets, and Slides, simplifies document creation and collaboration, while Google Classroom eases assignment distribution and tracking. These Google student benefits extend to cloud-based storage, too, reducing the risk of losing important documents and assignments and promoting easy note-sharing. 

Coupled with the extensive resources accessible through the device, CTL Chromebooks promise a transformative and interactive educational experience. Whether it's a mathematical equation that needs solving, a historical event that needs understanding, or an art concept that needs exploring, these devices can assist. In essence, Chromebooks from quality manufacturers like CTL serve as a comprehensive digital companion, enabling students to keep pace with the rapidly evolving academic expectations. 

Chromebook Deals for Students

CTL Chromebooks are the perfect fit for students who need affordable technology, and CTL provides the best Chromebook deals for schools and school districts deploying them for students. 

While Chromebooks are already affordably priced, there are bulk discounts available for schools with manufacturers like CTL. With a little bit of information about your goals and your program, CTL will help you design a program that achieves your goals and meets your tight budget.

CTL Chromebooks are not just about providing devices at a reasonable price. They symbolize a commitment to enhance the tech-supported educational journey of every student from today through many tomorrows. As you shop around, ensure you look at future-proofing technical performance, work with a vendor to achieve the flexibility you need for your unique program, and consider the long-term benefits of building sustainability into your total cost of ownership (TCO).

Start your journey on providing Chromebooks for students today with CTL.

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