Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Why Chromebooks are schooling iPads in education

Chris Hoffman | Dec. 8, 2014
Chromebooks are cheap, easy to manage, and even easier to share.

Chromebooks offer super-simple management
Google's Chromebooks are much easier for IT departments to manage than iPads are. Chromebook management is built right into the Google Apps Admin console on the web. If a school is already using Google Apps for Education, this should be very simple to use.

iPads, on the other hand, are more complicated to manage. A school will have to set up a Mobile Device Management (MDB) server and manage it on their own. There's more complexity here, and maybe even less security--340 LA high-school students figured out how to remove the MDM profiles from their iPads to bypass those limitations back in 2013.

iPads can't be shared, Chromebooks can
Chromebooks are "stateless." When you set up an iPad, you sign in with an Apple ID and that iPad then belongs to that user until the device is factory-reset. There's no support for multiple separate user accounts.

On a Chromebook, a student can simply sign out, and then another student can sign in with their own account. Their settings and data will automatically be synced to that Chromebook.

Because of this, Chromebooks can be more easily shared. Rather than issuing an iPad to each student, a school district could buy 30 Chromebooks and leave them in a single classroom. Every student could use a Chromebook in that particular class. Good luck sharing an iPad in that way!

At the end of the day, Chromebooks also provide a more PC-like experience. They work with practically every website you'll come across, including ones that use Flash. (Yes, Flash is terrible, but sometimes you still need it.) Students can have multiple windows open, which can be very important when working on a research paper.

But most of the benefits here are just gravy, and nice to have. Schools love Chromebooks because they're low-cost and easy to manage. The iPad may get all the press, but Chromebooks just keep winning over schools. Apple is the hare, and Google is the tortoise. Slow and steady is winning the race, at least in education--though businesses are increasingly snapping up Chromebooks, too.


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.