Over 20 Million Students Now Using Chromebooks

Today is World Teachers' Day and Google have written a blog post based around the hashtag #ittakesateacher. In the blog, Google writes about how an inspirational teacher can encourage students to look at things from a different perspective and have produced a minute long YouTube video clip, which you can view at the end of this post. During the article, Google explain that more than 20 million teachers and students now use both the Chromebook platform and Google Classroom software. Google write that students and teachers are "using Chromebooks to create, collaborate and communicate."

This is an interesting statistic. After a slow start, Google's Chromebook computing platform has experienced high growth especially from the education sector and it's easy to see why. Chrome OS is simple, fast and reliable - most Chromebooks reboot in under ten seconds despite using low powered silicon with relatively little RAM and internal storage. Most models offer low resolution displays but this does not matter for the operating system, which is smooth, fluid and fast. Furthermore, Chromebooks are very simple to maintain and update: the platform supports background updating technology, called seamless updating, whereby a software update takes the same amount of time as a device reboot. This same technology has been borrowed for Android 7.0 Nougat whereby devices will download and install operating system updates and essentially swap in the updated code at the next reboot. Thanks to the relatively low powered hardware used by most Chromebooks, the computers themselves are usually inexpensive - often coming in at around the $200 point. Comparing the Chromebook to the more expensive Apple iPad, which requires a keyboard, it's easy to see why schools prefer Google's platform.

Last year, Google reported that 10 million students were using the Chromebook platform so the platform is experiencing rapid growth, at least in terms of users if not actual Chromebooks in use today. Furthermore, Chrome OS is on the cusp of a major new development for some existing and most if not all new models: Google has opened up the Google Play Store and for selected (but growing) models, has enabled the platform to run Android applications. It's unclear how this will change the appeal of the Chromebook for the education sector, but perhaps Google is increasing the appeal of the platform to graduating students as they venture off for further studies? In 2015 the company said that the Chromebook had captured around half of the classroom computer market.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.
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