Love Affairs?

A couple of days ago, I read this article “CTL Education Chromebook Is Tough And Affordable” and shared it“.  It got a reply from my friend Cliff.

His comments does make one think.  Love Affair?  Or, is this just the latest in the search for the perfect device?

There was a time when the common wisdom was to buy as many of the most powerful pieces of technology that you could.  After all, there wouldn’t be a quick turnover like there is for home technology.  What’s the lifespan of technology in your school?  5 years?  7 years?

I know that I cross my fingers when I deal with the family budget saying that “this purchase will last us for 10 years”.  Then, in a couple of years, start looking for technology recycling days to get rid of it!

I enjoy using my iPad.  it’s light, great battery life, and the perfect device for connected reading and light email use.  For the heavier lifting though, I turn to a computer with a regular keyboard or, if I have to use the iPad, reach for a Bluetooth keyboard.  The device is great but, for me, hasn’t proven to be the universal tool.

Is it the universal tool in education?  Certainly, there are great success stories.  I know many folks who are using iPads very effectively for a particular purpose.  But they do turn to traditional keyboards for other purposes.  So, Cliff, this love affair isn’t for ever and ever.

In fact, there’s a report this morning that the Los Angeles Unified School District which was planning to spend a billion dollars on iPads is having second thoughts. “Los Angeles school district puts $1 billion iPad rollout on hold“.  It’s interesting that schools can make the choice.  What happens if staff changes?  The article indicates that there’s quite a wide variety of devices being considered.

An interesting read on the topic, at least at higher education “Why tablets are failing miserably in higher education“.

Does the Chromebook offer a solution?  There are lots of options to choose from.  I have worked with some of the lower priced devices and, if you’re a Chrome user, you’re right at home.  Fast to boot, great battery life, and a keyboard.  If you can live without an app for everything and love the web, could this be your new love?  I also had an opportunity to work with the creme de la creme – the Pixel.  This is one sweet device with great specifications and a wonderful feel to it.  My budget is safe since it’s not available for purchase in “your country”.

At this point, I’m still not sure that we’ve found the one perfect device.  In a world where we work to differentiate, finding the one tool or one application may be a frustrating experience.  It’s not bad since there are such huge developments that appear so regularly.  It would be more of a disservice to be all-in with one piece of technology.

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