Beginning in 5th grade students begin to use Chromebooks or Laptops for some of their school work.
If a family purchases their students Chromebook, it is strongly recommended that parents should add their own google account *before* a student adds their account. See the Protect Young Eyes' Chromebook setup instructions (layer 3 instructions).
Chromebook controls are useful for parents. Here are some tools to consider.
- The Complete Guide to Chromebook Parental Controls
- Mobicip is a strong filter and great for Chromebooks
Once students have a browser and an online presence, that will become a significant focus in their life.
Some families choose to use family technology contracts to support healthy technology use habits. Below are some examples:
- Family Device Agreement - Serious but light-hearted agreement
- Parent/Child Tech Agreement - Download (from CyberWise curriculum & works for any tech, not just smartphones)
The school district has recommended the low-cost Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ and ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 in the past. Here is some more information to think about. (Last updated June 2019.)
Significant discounts are available on Amazon Prime Day, usually July 16th, and after Thanksgiving. Frequently refurbished units are available at a discount.
These will work fine for any student. No touch screen means they're easier to repair.
- Acer CB3-131-C3SZ with 11.6-inch screen ~$180
- ASUS C202SA-YS02 ruggedized and water-resistant ~$200
A Chromebook that uses USB-C to charge means extra chargers are easier. Some Chromebooks can also run android apps (usually intentionally disabled in school accounts) and some can run Linux apps. Both android and Linux capabilities can cause more distractions but they do make the Chromebook more future proof.
- ASUS C213SA ruggedized and water-resistant, touchscreen, USB-C charging and android and linux capable ~$340
- Lenovo c330 ruggedized and water-resistant, touchscreen, USB-C charging and android capable, IPS screen ~$250
Theoretically, a ruggedized Chromebook can take more of a beating.
- ASUS C202SA ruggedized and water-resistant ~$200
- ASUS C213SA ruggedized and water-resistant, touchscreen with USB-C charging, android and Linux capable ~$340
- Lenovo 500e ruggedized and water-resistant, touchscreen with USB-C charging, android and Linux capable, comes with a stylus, IPS screen ~$300
- Touchscreen versus non-touchscreen - Touchscreens make repairs more expensive
- Screen size - 11.6" screens are easy for students to carry around and fit easily on desks
- Charging (USB-C versus non-USB-C) - More and more devices can charge by USB-C so replacing or buying additional chargers for USB-C is an advantage.
- Buyer's guide - https://www.starryhope.com/chromebooks/chromebook-comparison-chart/
- Compare by specs - https://www.chromebookspecs.com/compare