Chromebooks for Mr. Maxim

I'm interested in getting a class set of 30 Chromebooks for my 6th grade Social Studies classroom. There's many reasons I think this is a good idea, and I will summarize the main reasons below:

1) Model Classroom - In my role as a technology coach, I would like to invite teachers to my classroom to observe. These observing teachers can see how I am using technology with my students, so that they can learn some best-practices for using tech with their students. With the existing laptop arrangement, there are some days when I can't use computers in my classroom because another teacher is using our limited supply. With a class set of Chromebooks, I could have consistent access to computers to use for my class, so I could reliably invite teachers to my room to observe.

2) Prepare Students for IAL High School - IAL High School has a one-to-one Chromebook program, meaning each student has a Chromebook that they carry with them at all times. By using Chromebooks with students in my sixth grade classroom, we could confidently prepare students for the technology they will use in the High School (and beyond). 

3) Consistent Access to Technology - As you can see from this webpage, my classroom this year is almost entirely paperless, meaning all student and teacher materials are shared and submitted online. In order to run this type of classroom, I need to have a dependable set of computers to use in my classroom. With only three (or two functioning...) sets of computer carts to share between the entire fifth and sixth grade, there will be days when other teachers are using the laptops, and I won't have a set of computers to use in my class. If I'm going to run the type of digital classroom that I have the ability to run, I'll need my own class set of computers.

4) They're Cheap - Chromebooks cost about $200 a piece. The Acer C720 that I use to run my classroom (and an entire Google Apps suite with 450+ user accounts) costs $199. Last year, the IAL tech team bought 60 laptops for $500 each in the Nagle building, for a total of $30,000. If we had spent this money on Chromebooks for $200 each, we could have bought 150 Chromebooks. Chromebooks are cheap, so they are the smartest option for outfitting my classroom with a set of computers.

5) They're Good - An Acer C720 Chromebook, which is what I use, has a battery that lasts over 8.5 hours on a single charge. It's got a seven second TOTAL boot up time, which means students don't have to waste time waiting for their laptops to start up. Students have access to 100GB of online storage through Google Apps. Security, apps, updates, virus protection, and more are all streamlined and easy to use on Chromebooks. 

For these reasons and more, a set of 30 Chromebooks in my classroom is a smart idea. IAL can use my class as a model classroom - one which prepares students for technology they'll see in the high school and beyond, and we can do it with cheap, good Chromebooks. I'm excited to talk to you more about this!
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