Canadian schools have been investing in digital-oriented education technology for quite some time, with many schools experimenting with loaning laptops, iPads and Chromebooks to students.
Now, according to education consulting firm Futuresource, Google’s Chromebooks have become the “number-one-selling educational device for Canadian K12 schools.”
Google spoke with members of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) in Guelph, Ontario, as well as the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB), in order to share opinions on why Chromebooks are so popular.
According to Kevin Bradbeer, the TDSB’s senior manager of client relations, students and teachers enjoy using Chromebooks because of how quickly they power up.
“When it comes to cost, performance and reliability, Chromebooks really are in the sweet spot for all three,” said Bradbeer.
Bill Mackenzie, a UGDSB information and communication technology consultant argued the virtues of Chromebooks’ benefits for special needs students. Mackenzie stated that special needs students are the “tip of the the spear for technology, because if it helps them, it will help everybody.”
Finally, Terry Korte, an EPSB supervisor in district technology highlighted that Chromebooks are useful for students learning English as a second language.
“Equity of access to technology is a challenge,” said Korte. “We try to avoid the fads and stick with the things that make the biggest difference for teachers and their students.”
There are approximately 20,000 Chromebooks in the TDSB; approximately 15,000 Chromebooks in the UGDSB; and approximately 46,000 Chromebooks in the EPSB.
These Canadian figures bolster Google’s success in the education market. In the U.S., Google and its Chromebooks have started to consistently outperform Microsoft and Apple’s offerings.
According to Reuters, the Chrome operating system accounts for 58 percent of the U.S. primary and secondary school market.
Microsoft and Apple have responded to Google by lowering the prices on their products for their education customers.