A brief introduction to the Google Chromebook netbook computer.
Guest Post by Karishma Marathe
Google’s Chromebook was launched in 2010 – a netbook that uses Google’s cloud based Chrome OS operating system. It looks exactly like a netbook, but here’s the interesting part: the Chromebook does not have any physical storage, instead, all user data and applications are stored in Google’s cloud. So you have all the benefits of a notebook (roomy keyboard, solid exterior, etc.) with the all the qualities of a tablet device (a clean web browser, tons of applications, and so on).
“Cloud computing” is a commonly heard phrase in tech circles these days, but we’re not all too clear on what it means. Running an IT Support company in Bristol, it’s something that we get asked a lot about lately. Cloud Computing essentially means getting services over the Internet, such as software applications, file storage, and so on, typically accessed using a Web
In May, EmergingEdTech wrote about the reasons why education needs to welcome internet technologies, and the Chromebook is a dexterous tool to support this new revolution in the way young people, and adults, learn and work. Almost every school aged child has used the Internet – whether it’s for academic or personal use, and the Chromebook is a natural extension of this. What might strike users though is that there is no ‘desktop’ concept here – you open the Web browser and download apps as you wish.
Chromebooks are entirely dependent on the Internet for performance, and have built-in Wi-Fi and optional 3G – so portability is no issue, and since everything is stored in the cloud, students and teachers can continue working from home too, without the fear of losing data. Schools can also make use of Google’s suit of collaboration and management tools and obtain numerous web-based resources.
Chromebook makes computing a simpler experience and it helps that it’s very fast, to boot (pun intended!) – the average start up time is just 8 seconds! And it helps that it has a really long battery life too. Another really cool thing about the Chromebook is that it has an automatic update feature. But it’s important to remember that the Chromebook can only function
if the user has Wi-Fi, if not, then the device is unfortunately, completely worthless. However, the bright side is that 3G/4G technology is spreading quickly.
Some people are of the opinion that the Chrome OS can be difficult for the average user – compared to the iPad for example which is famous for its simplicity, but one should keep in mind the cost and the positive physical attributes of the Chromebook, like the fact that not everyone is comfortable typing without a physical keyboard.
To learn more about the advantages of the Chromebook for Education (and Business), visit this Chromebook web page from Google.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
10 Internet Technologies Educators Should Be Informed About – 2011 Update
Someday students will carry a tablet computer instead of books (it’s just a matter of time)
10 Excellent iPad Applications for Teachers