Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Chromebooks really only take 8 seconds to start up

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In my school, we had a laptop trolley about 3 years ago.

16 laptops that could be charged up overnight then trundled into a room for action.

We haven't really used it for about 18 months.

The thing is that by the time each laptop has started up, connected to the wireless network and been logged on, you've wasted 5 minutes of the lesson.

That may not seem like a long time, but it is enough to lose a roomful of 8 year olds, especially when the learning is supposed to be about something entirely different than ICT - the technology is supposed to be supporting the learning. (Think about it another way - if you waste 5 minutes every school day waiting for laptops to boot up, that would add up to 3 school days over the course of the year - too much time wasted.)

In addition the battery life of those laptops was only 3 hours. That meant they could only be used in the mornings, or, if needed in the afternoons, partially charged during lunchtime, only to die part way through the afternoon.

I could go on about other barriers such as syncing the files over the wireless system to our Windows network and how that didn't seem to work consistently on each laptop, but I won't.

Suffice it to say, they were more trouble than they were worth - they got in the way.

Now we've got Chromebooks. These are built in such a way that I'm hoping they won't present the same barriers I've listed above. I hope they really well support the learning.

The first feature that I think will help is the start up time.

8 seconds they claim. And I timed it today. They were right.

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