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A Week with a Chromebook Part 1


I'm testing out a Dell Inspiron Chromebook, non-touch screen

Your initial reaction to the title might be, why? For those that know me well, know that I'm not a big fan or a fan at all of the Chromebooks. The main reason is that they're not really "computers" to me as you have to have an internet connection in order to do anything at all or it seems. It reminds me of the old "Netbooks" from several years ago that was lacking in storage and performance. With that said, the school of Nursing is using many Chromebooks in their clinical sites for website use mainly so it is a cost-effective strategy for them. I'm not aware of anyone else using Chromebooks at CHS except for maybe a couple of faculty that are using their own personal Chromebooks. Even though it doesn't match our system requirements for the students, there are some students that use it for their work except when it comes time to use a specific software or testing software that only works with Windows and Mac. This is primarily a Windows/Mac environment that I work in so that adds to my dislike for Chromebooks. But, since Nursing has ordered many Chromebooks and I'm left with the responsibility of setting them up, I'll do what most IT guys do and of course, test and play! Here's what I've found out so far...


As soon as you boot up one of these devices you're forced to either sign in with a Google account or sign up with one immediately. They let you know right away this is a "Google" product. Within Samford, A Chromebook is good for using anything web-based mostly. Even if its a site that uses flash since that comes built into Google Chrome. For some of the classroom use, I walked into a classroom and was able to connect to a projector no problem. It does come with a built-in HDMI port and no adapter needed like a lot of the new laptops and MacBooks today. That's one advantage. I was NOT able to use Solstice, which is our wireless presenter system, which was a little surprising to me. Solstice only supports Windows and Apple products, including iPad's and iPhone's but no droid products so that leaves the Chromebook out. Solstice is not available all over campus but its available all over CHS. I was able to print through a WEPA kiosk which is all over campus mostly. I was also able to use Canvas without any issues so far. The only downside was using ARC, it does not work with Screen-capture as theirs no install BUT it does work with Webcam capture. To end part 1 of this review, I was able to use adobe reader, and the office suite online only. I will say I wasn't too disappointed with using Office online, it's missing a couple of features and I don't like the web version of Outlook but it gets the job done. So far, it's not too bad, I'll still take a good Windows computer any day of the week but the testing continues...

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