Report: Chromebooks make up more than half devices found in schools

by: Andrew GrushDecember 3, 2015

Lenovo N20 Chromebook-61

While Apple might be “all the rage” these days among certain sects, this wasn’t always the case. Long before Macs were associated with artists, videographers, and other creative types they were instead targeted primarily at another crowd altogether: students and schools. In today’s world though, Chromebooks have apparently stolen the education spotlight.

According to a new report from CNBC, Chromebooks now make up over half of all devices found in classrooms in the United States. Apple continues to be an important force in education, but over the past three years Apple’s marketshare in education has reportedly dropped from 52 percent to just 24. Microsoft has seen similar decline, going from 43 to 24 percent.

According to a new report from CNBC, Chromebooks now make up over half of all devices found in classrooms in the United States.

That’s a far cry from the way things were during my 90s childhood. In those days, pretty much every school computer lab was dominated by Macs, with a few Windows (or sadly sometimes even DOS..) machines found in a few classrooms here and there. And most of those machines were at any given moment playing either Oregon Trail or some variation of SimCity. Those were the days.

LenovoN20thumbnailSee also: Lenovo N20 Chromebook Review27

A lot has changed it seems, and in very little time, given Chromebooks made up less than 1 percent of the education space in 2012. To put it all into perspective, Chromebooks have made up 4.4 million of 8.9 million devices sold to schools and school districts this year, and every school day 30k Chromebooks are reportedly activated.

It’s been amazing to us to see that growth happen just in that short amount of time. If you look at the overall market for devices in education, it’s actually expanded a lot and Chromebooks have actually taken a lot of the expansion. – Rajen Sheth, Google’s director of product management for Android and Chrome in business and education

While it’s great to see Google’s Chromebooks on the rise, both in education and even among general consumers, the cloud-centric platform’s gains in education aren’t completely surprising. After all, Chromebooks are highly affordable, easy to manage, very secure, and students are doing more and more in the cloud, meaning that “full-fledged” traditional PCs aren’t necessary for the average student.

The only important question I have left is “Can they play SimCity?” (The answer is sort of.) What do you think, surprised to see Chromebook’s meteoric rise in schools?

  • Diego

    I think chrome books are for school library’s.
    With many schools adopting the, Bring your own device program, its safe to say that iPads are being used for schoolwork.
    My point is, if your students don’t need to use any apps, and only use pencil and paper, get the chrome book.
    However, If your students need or want to download music use apps, and get interactive games, go for the iPad.

    • John Doe

      Right, because schools need more games and music downloads being played during class time … Brilliant!!
      and you Think that Chromebooks are only to be used in libraries, wow that is very narrow minded.
      Dude play with the technology before you judge it please ..
      Chromebooks are huge because they are cost effective and easy to use and maintain and collaborative , not to mention having
      Google for Education as their teaching environment.
      Students and families in general (& schools), do not always have the $$ to purchase Apple products, etc., this is where Chromebooks thrive in a cost effective way ..

      • Diego

        not my point.
        but ok.

      • Diego

        Not exactly for library use.
        I meant something like, a basic laptop.
        To be used by students who don’t need much.

        • Sonya Matthews

          Yahoo CEO, Marissa Meyer has gone so far as to Support the practice “Work at home” that I have been doing since last year. In this year till now I have earned 66k dollars with my pc, despite the fact that I am a college student. Even newbies can make 39 an hour easily and the average goes up with time. Why not try this. opr….

        • kszczytko

          Interesting view. Do you work in a school? I’m not trying to be confrontational, I’m just curious about your perspective. I’ll share mine. Our students predominantly use Chromebooks to get their school work done. It’s cumbersome to write papers or do any assignment that involves writing on a device without a decent keyboard. BTW, chromebooks also run apps when the students need them. We do have a handful of iPads at each of our buildings – the students only use them when they are doing photo or video related projects – then they upload the photos to Google Photos and process them on the Chromebooks. The Chromebooks are also much more easily managed and customized than iPads. I can push out settings by user group, whereas the iPads don’t really allow for any customization per user.

          • Diego

            No, I used to attend elementary school tho.
            Now I am at middleschool and going in to high school.
            I used app development to buy my 2 phones.
            Anyway, enough about me.
            So, When I was an elementary school, around 2012, they gave an iPad to all students from first grade up an iPad.
            They were aloud to take it home, and did most of their homework on their.
            So, in my time with the iPad, I founded to be very useful at doing most of my homework.
            Tho, I had to use my mac too write long text.
            Anyway, back then I used to think iPads were stupid for kids.
            I thought, why the hell would you give a kid an iPad?
            you trying to make them in to spoilt brats?
            Later I found out that a touchscreen is better for them, rather then a full computer.
            I can’t imagine trying to teach a kid on how to use a computer.
            So, use chromebooks as classroom computers, and then, when they are at middleschool, get them a real computer rather then an iPad or chromebook.
            Thats my point of view.

          • Happy

            And which device “aloud” you “too write” such fantastic text?

          • Diego

            Smartphone keyboard.

  • Jack Smith

    Chromebooks are simply a much better solution for schools. Many think it is the inexpensive purchase price that is responsible for the success but this would be incorrect. Yes the purchase price does NOT hurt but it is really about how much more productive classes are using Chromebooks versus any other platform.

    What matters is that the laptop simply works. The battery lasts a long time, it boots almost instantly, no viruses/malware/vulnerabilities (I seriously mean NONE), far easier to manage what kids are doing on the Internet,

    But one of the big things is the ability for the Chromebook to easily be shared. This is so important. When a kid logs in the laptop is configured to that person’s account. Then if someone else uses same thing.

    Computers had been mostly a failure in K-12 because it just took too much time away from teaching. Unless you had a very strong teacher that was willing to spend extra time keeping the PCs working. Google has given the teacher a solution that makes it possible for ALL teachers to use computers in the classroom.

    • Kapteinstein

      Hear hear!!

  • JohnD

    Chromebooks are really good for business and consuming content. This is great for them and Google. But…….This also shows not only how great they are but even more so how cheap schools are. I bet you “most” schools didn’t look hard at the security and overall OS feature implementations. I bet you the price was the biggest factor. Me and my family each have one but I can still admit that.