Chromebooks in schools? What made it so prominent and it's issues you need to know!

Chromebooks in schools? What made it so prominent and it's issues you need to know!

Chromebooks are one of the most used devices within school environments. They are widely used across US schools. From Middle School to High School, Chromebooks have become a reliable tool for their cheap costs and ease of control. According to Google, 40 million students and educators use their products. With over 60% market share in the North American region, how did they become the #1 choice for schools across the country?

Reasons for Schools to Use Chromebooks

The following outlines the reasons schools choose Chromebooks for students and goes over the benefits that schools are given to use Google's services within their environment.


The first clear idea is the pricing of Chromebooks. They are significantly lower priced than any Windows or MacBook computer, therefore it seems like a sensible decision to purchase these.  The Chromebooks at my local school are worth around $360. After taking a look at Google's education websites, it appears there are special deals in place for schools to purchase these devices. This may mean they do not actually have to pay $360 every time. Note that this does not include the repair costs involved with Chromebooks.

Easy to Control

Due to the laws governing children's online protection, certain websites are required to be blocked from school environments. Blocking these websites and other Google services makes it easier to control and protect students online for schools. Companies like GoGuardian have evolved although they've been riddled with challenges in regard to student privacy. For the main part, this seems to be software helpful for schools, despite its controversial enforcement.

Built-in Integration with Google

The majority of schools that use Chromebooks also use Google's services. These services allow for the quick implementation of a full office suite that is necessary for schools to be able to teach and provide assignments for students. Documents and presentations have become commonplace in school making Google Slides and Google Docs important choices for schools. With so many students, schools often need an Education account as well which is provided in packages with Chromebooks.  


Chromebooks have been riddled with issues and limitations in regard to their ability to do things. From student complaints to bad hardware, Chromebooks have often been criticized for their lack of quality and software.

Chromebook-churn E-Waste Increases

A recent study by PIRG highlighted issues with Chromebooks and how their lack of quality has led to increased e-waste within schools. The complaint from the study claims that Chromebooks are not made to last and that they quickly expire and force schools to have to get new Chromebooks, which increases environmental waste and increase costs. Given Google's commitment to sustainability, this study poses some highly important questions given Google's effect on the environment.

Hardware quality

On the related quality of Chromebook-churn, let's talk about the hardware quality of Chromebooks. These computers contain limited CPU and ram due to their lack of software and necessity. They will often freeze up and experience issues when doing more complex tasks. Most of the time, in certain classes, Windows or Mac desktops are used due to their limitations. This once again increases the costs of schools and also drastically reduces access to software because it is too expensive.

Lack of Software Environment

Downloading and installing software onto Chromebooks has also proved challenging. Their "browser-only" aspect has resulted in creating a computer whose only function is to browse the web. Additionally, claims of their "virus-free" approach have been criticized online as false or misleading due to the fact that not many people make viruses for Chromebooks in the first place. These criticisms also mention that it's still possible to get viruses and that suggests that if schools use it more, then more viruses will surface which will be targeted toward Chromebooks as well.

Chromebooks have had a huge effect on the educational landscape from 2011 to 2023. They've had a long history with lots of criticism and positive aspects. While they do have certain problems, they've made it easier for educators and students to collaborate and learn. They've created an environment to do what's important, and that is to teach children. Despite their limitations, Chromebooks have left a lasting effect on the way education is handled.

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