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Thanks Larry.  Have you ever owned a Macbook Air?  In fact, is there anybody on this ListServ that has used both a Chromebook and a Macbook Air for an extended period of time?  I'm obviously biased toward a Mac, since that is what I use (although I was a lifetime PC user before coming to my current school).  I am also biased toward Mac because I would love my students to be able to do serious video editing - which is much more difficult on a Chromebook.

I really do appreciate everybody's opinions.  It's been a fascinating discussion.

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 3:47 PM, Larry Dougher <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Matt,

We purchased the ASUS C200 this summer for three schools for $243 each.  The model the previous school year was the Samsung 303 (brand new at the time) for $249.  We haven't paid more than $269 since the pilot year.  That being said, I budgeted $349 each because there is no telling what will be out in the summer when we build the budget in the fall (4GB, 802.11ac, etc.).

Again, I have used a Chromebook exclusively for almost three years and a Chromebox since the summer and it's weird but I never felt like I had a less functional device.  Again, though I'm not a "kid".

Thanks,

Larry Dougher
Chief Information Officer
Information Technology Services
Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union
127 State Street, Windsor, VT 05089
Email | Google+Twitter | LinkedIn | (802) 674-8336


On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 3:36 PM, Matt Henchen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
With all due respect Bjorn - your comparison of a $250 Chromebook to a $1200 Macbook is highly misleading.  The best price for a Chromebook right now is around $269 (per Peter Drescher) and the current price for a Macbook Air is $849.  Plus Apple will be signing a contract with the state and will more than likely offer a better price than that.  

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM, Bjorn Behrendt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I have always been about accessibility.   I personally hate it when k-12 schools teach expensive applications, without also showcasing the free low-cost alternatives.   They may not have as many features, but at least once the class is over (or the student graduates) the student still has access to the tools they learned about in school.

The worst thing we can do for our students it to have them think they can only write a document in MS. Word or edit a photo in Photoshop.  

Handing them a Mac or Windows Laptop with all the bells and whistles, may work well for them while they have access to the resource, but take that away and they are left thinking that to do the same things they need to spend thousands of dollars.   

My personal vote is for accessibility over features.  

As for durability, if a student is going to drop their backpack down some steps, or trip while it is raining and have the device fall in the water I would rather it be a $250 device than a $1200 one.   

Bjorn Behrendt M.Ed ~ Never Stop Learning
   Google Apps For Education Certified Trainer & Administrator
My Sites
 ~ Edlisten.com Educational Podcast
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 ~ VTed.org ~ Vermont's Personal Learning Network

gClassFolders ~ Create Google folders for your class.

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM, Adam Provost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
90%... I'd like to enter that debate to see if that number rings true. I think it's overstated.



On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM, Adam Provost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hardware durability is crucial. So is usability.

Personally, I much prefer a fully functional laptop for kids within and outside school... that is functional creatively. Schools that encourage that creative use outside school walls go much further. I've seen and visited schools who so severely 'institutionalize' a powerful laptop that it is basically unintuitive, and only functional as a basic app and web research tool. The school philosophy around the usage of the device is paramount.

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM, Matt Henchen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Agreed.  And I would argue that too often the discussion is about "what we do at school" as if that is the only place students develop skills and knowledge. So I supposed the discussion is what is that thing, that device, that ALL students will have access to. 

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:15 AM, Joanne Finnegan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Too often the discussion is around devices, not learning. I still advocate that there is a need for a variety of devices for students whether the environment is 1:1 or not. For example, an elementary school with only Chromebooks is doing a disservice to kids if there are no tablets available for creating movies, using whiteboard apps for explaining concepts, etc. Yes, you can do all that with a Chromebook, but it takes much more time away from the actual learning (i.e., content) to do what is simple and fast on a mobile device/iPad/tablet.

Joanne

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:03 AM, Raymond Ballou <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Mike

Brendan beat me to the car analogy, so I will just add.

There is a lot of 'what business uses' or 'most popular this or that' postulation in Ed Tech.

If that applied in the Driver Ed world, our 'car' would be a Ford F150.


For 1-1, expectations benefit from being device agnostic, as none of us know how things will unfold ...


I echo what others have said re:

CART                        =>  HORSE
what do we want to do => what are our device options


R

I don’t think you can fairly compare the most expensive solution to the least expensive solution. 

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Joanne Finnegan
Semi-retired Technology Integrationist
Former math and computer programming teacher
42 years in education and still love to learn!

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Adam A. Provost, MAT
Technology Integration - Partnership for Change Initiative 




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Technology Integration - Partnership for Change Initiative 

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Matt Henchen
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Harwood Union High School
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