Chromebooks

Chromebooks

What is a Chromebook?

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

CHROMEBOOK FEATURES

  • Less than 8 seconds to boot up
  • Long battery life
  • Simple technology
  • Easy student-teacher workflow
  • Excellent collaboration tools
  • Works seamlessly with Google Workspace for Education and other cloud-based applications which all of our students and teachers already use extensively
  • Students can create, share and collaborate using Google Workspace for Education and use subject related apps in the classroom and at home

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.

 

Suggested Models

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.   The top price for a 14″ Full HD Celeron Chromebook is currently around £229 but there are always deals available (Check below).

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 24/11/22)

Lenovo Ideapad 3i 14″ – £129.99 – AUE June 2027 – http://www.currys.co.uk/products/lenovo-ideapad-3i-14-chromebook-amd-3015ce-64-gb-emmc-grey-10243162.html

Lenovo Ideapad 3 14″ – £149.99 – AUE June 2027 – http://www.johnlewis.com/lenovo-ideapad-3-chromebook-laptop-mediatek-processor-4gb-ram-64gb-emmc-14-inch-full-hd-abyss-blue/p5959667

Acer 314 14″ – £159.99 – AUE June 2028 – http://www.currys.co.uk/products/acer-314-14-chromebook-mediatek-mt8183c-64-gb-emmc-silver-10227130.html

 

Suggested Cases

During the Year 7 trial we extensively drop tested several cases from Amazon.  This case offered the best protection from the ones we tried:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/iNeseon-Chromebook-Ultrabook-Protective-Detachable-Black/dp/B08C32Z3YM

 

Why Chromebooks?  

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 :

  • Increased collaborative working between students and additionally with teachers
  • Student-led and extensive research, accessing the latest information
  • Enriched curriculum, through varied digital mediums and apps
  • Improved student organisation and presentation of work

 

Chromebooks, as a device, offer a number of advantages :

  • Value for money
  • Long battery life, lasting up to 8 hours
  • Under 8 seconds to boot up for each lesson
  • Simple intuitive technology for students to navigate
  • Access to wide range of free Google Apps for Education
  • Student-work is automatically saved and cannot be lost
  • Very resistant to viruses and Trojans
  • Familiarity of tools for students and staff, as we are already a Google-suite school

 

Do I have to buy a Chromebook?

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.

 

Why can my child not bring/use a different device?

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.

 

How will students use Chromebooks in lessons?

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. 

  • Note taking 
  • Recording data in tables and graphs
  • Drawing diagrams
  • Organising their time
  • Organising their notes

Even more excitingly, using chromebooks will enable students to engage in learning tasks previously not possible in conventional classrooms.

  • Answer instantly marked short quizzes to gauge understanding and direct lessons.
  • Carry out simulated tasks
  • Explore 3D environments
  • Research topics
  • Collaborate on a piece of work with ease
  • Revise work neatly with ease
  • Recording videos and audio

 

What is the roll out plan?

  • During the Summer Term of 2021 we did a 4 week trial of Chromebooks in lessons, with a Year 7 group.
  • We shall be introducing Chromebooks for Years 7-9 in the Summer Term 2022 – this will be staggered with Year 7 from the start of term and Year 8 and 9 students in the weeks following
    • From Tuesday 26 April (start of the Summer Term) – only Year 7 students need to bring in their Chromebooks every day
    • From Monday 9 May – Year 8 students will need to bring in their Chromebooks, in addition to Year 7
    • From Monday 23 May – Year 9 students will need to bring in their Chromebooks, in addition to Year 7 and 8
    • Training will be given to students in the first few days for each year group
  • New Year 7 students will be added to the plan when they start at AGS, so from the start of September 2022 all students in Years 7-10 will be using Chromebooks
  • As the plan continues, from September 2023 all students in Years 7-11 will be using Chromebooks
  • Sixth-Form students will be required to bring in a device (from September 2022) to support their learning in lessons and during their study periods, however they will be able to choose the device which will be most beneficial to them, given the subjects that they will study

 

Tips and key reminders 

Please see the links below for some useful tips that may be helpful when setting up or using your new device;

Key reminders; 

  • Your Chromebook is optimised for using the cloud. You should be storing as much of your work as possible on Google Drive rather than locally on your device. This will mean that if you ever forget your device and need to borrow one, all of your files will be accessible. 
  • Shortcuts are invaluable. Chromebooks use a variety of shortcuts to perform regularly used tasks. Here are some of the most useful shortcuts;
    • Ctrl + Shift + L – Lock your Chromebook’s screen.
    • Ctrl + Shift + Q – Log out of your Chromebook. Press the key combination twice to quit.
    • Alt + E – Open the Chrome browser’s menu. This only works if a Chrome browser window is open and focused.
    • Alt + 1-8 – Launch applications located on Chrome OS’s “shelf,” or taskbar. For example, Alt + 1 will launch the first application shortcut from the left.
    • Ctrl + Z to undo, and use the standard Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V shortcuts to Cut, Copy and Paste.
    • Press Ctrl + Alt + ? (or Ctrl + Alt + / ) to open a keyboard shortcut cheat sheet at any time. This cheat sheet allows you to view all your Chromebook’s keyboard shortcuts. Whether you’re looking up a keyboard shortcut you forgot, you want to master all the keyboard shortcuts, or you’re just curious, this overlay will help you master those keyboard shortcuts.
  • Chromebook battery Life is excellent. Charging each evening will allow your device to last all the way through the following school day. Get into the habit of putting your device on to charge each evening to ensure you are never caught without power.

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.