Google announced recently the new Chromebox, which is a compact form factor computing device running Chrome OS. While the Chromebooks are gaining popularity with schools, I am intrigued with the Chromebox at the price point of $329. With 4GB of RAM, dual-band WiFi, display output ports (HDMI, DVI, VGA), and 6 USB ports, it might be a sensible option for schools who want to leverage existing desktop infrastructure. Since monitors tend to last longer than your computing devices, using the Chromebox might be a cheaper option to replace your legacy desktops. It has more processing power and memory than the $349 Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. Obviously, you will need to move to a Google and cloud environment. But if that is not an issue, than replacing your desktops with Chromebox while recycling existing monitors, keyboards, and mice might just be the right budget solution for schools. Oh btw…it will surely decrease technical support issues for the IT department.
CNET gives it an Editor’s Rating of 3/5 stars. Here is the full review: Samsung Chromebox Series 3
Another in depth review of Chromebooks, Chromebox, and Chrome OS: Chrome OS Grows Up
Recently, I had the unique opportunity to visit the country of Ghana and work with teachers and proprietors in how to integrate technology within their schools. It was inspiring to see passionate educators wanting to use technology in their schools. They persevered for 7 days learning how to use ICT tools and learned how to effectively integrate these tools in their curriculum. We ended with a culminating project where each group was given a specific technology tool and was asked to create a lesson plan how to effectively integrate technology with a Ghanaian education standard. While I was there to teach and train, I certainly learned more than I taught.
Here is the Edify blog post about the training: Teacher Training in Ghana
Here are some pictures from my trip:
It was pretty cool to see how the Ghanaians revere Barack Obama. His picture was on various notebooks and even on pencil boxes.
Sometimes you needed back up generators and prepaid electricity cards to power up the computer labs.
Students working on Khan Academy and other offline educational software.