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Chromebooks replace iPads as the desired technology in classrooms

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With budget cuts ever increasing throughout the country, schools are always looking for ways to decrease expenses. One way to increase technology on a budget is with the Google Chromebook.

Chromebooks are about half the cost of the iPad. Schools pay between $500 and $800 per iPad, while Chromebooks are around $250.

One reason for the substantially cheaper price is the lack of a hard drive in the Chromebook. The applications students would most commonly use such as spreadsheets, presentation software, and word processing applications can be found through Google’s free Cloud based software.

Internet accessibility is required for online applications students use along with software for photography, emailing and web browsing through the Cloud.

Aside from in class technology, laptops, iPads and Chromebooks are being integrated for the newest wave of standardized testing. The Common Core is rolling out Smarter Balance as the end of year testing protocols.

These new standardized exams will be Internet based instead of the traditional Scantron style pencil and bubble method currently employed. Students would be able to take standardized tests from school, home or other locations with Internet access.

One issue arises with being able to provide the students secure Internet based testing. The Los Angeles Unified School District recently had students circumventing security on their iPads provided by the district for their use in school and at home for school related activities.

The testing fix is to force students to use only a particular browser that locks down the computer or web-based device. This prevents the opening of other Internet windows, programs, tools, and even taking screenshots by the user.

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