Christmas came a little early this year! I got a Samsung Chromebook a few weeks ago and I really love using it. It works so fast that it is perfect for me to check email, search the web, and work with Google Docs. If you are not familiar with Chromebooks, they are small laptops that are cloud based. They do not have operating systems or software so you use Google apps to complete tasks and just about everything you do on the Chromebook will require wifi or Internet connection.
I’ve been asked a lot lately about purchasing Chromebooks or iPads for the classroom. My basic response is, “Tell me what you want students to do with their learning.” If you just want students to read online, research, write papers, and prepare basic presentations then a Chromebook is great. If you want students to create movies, cartoons, picture collages, etc. you probably want to stick with an iPad. I do think that the age of the student makes a difference. iPads or tablets are just really easy to use because of the dragging and swiping. There are lots of navigating and keyboarding skills necessary with Chromebooks. Of course with either device you can do just about everything but you have to be savvy to get around the obstacles of both.
Here are a few things I have learned while working with my Chromebook:
- To right click I have to either double finger tap on the mouse pad or press Alt + Click.
- To copy and paste, I use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl + C & Ctrl + V.
- My files are stored in Google Drive instead of documents on the computer, although there is limited storage for downloaded files like PDF documents.
- I absolutely love that my Chromebook starts up immediately and zips to websites without any problem. My regular laptop seems much more bulky and slow now that I have the Chromebook.
- It is perfect for traveling because of the size and weight. I can still present using it with my documents in Google Drive.
- Speaking of presenting with the Chromebook, or projecting it.. It works with HDMI so make sure your projector/cable are HDMI compatible.