Today we are tackling a reader question. Recently someone asked me what they should get for their child in elementary school. Homework is becoming more and more online, and less and less actual worksheets. The majority of my daughter’s homework, in 3rd grade, is online. When you have a few kids, and they all have homework that they need the computer for, getting time for homework on the family computer becomes a serious issue. So, my reader wanted to know what she could get her kids so they can do their homework, and not have to fight over the family computer.
I recommended a Chromebook, and here is why.
1. It’s Affordable. The Chromebook I recommend is the Acer Chromebook 11, especially for elementary school kids. At $200, this is a great entry level device. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a device for a child, who may not have the skills to properly take care of it.
2. It’s Limited. Your kids aren’t going to be able to install a ton of apps and programs that will end up cluttering the device. This is not an Android operating system that you will find on a tablet. It’s Chrome OS, and you will be limited to the Chrome Web App Store. While there is still plenty there, it’s not going to have the full Google Play Store.
3. Web Access. What the Chromebook does, and does well, is give you access to the internet. As I mentioned, most of my daughter’s homework is online. From Raz-Kids to iXL math and even typing, the Chromebook will give you access to all of the above.
4. Google Drive. When your child does need to write a paper, or create a presentation, Google Drive will give them the ability to do that. They can even collaborate with other classmates on a report with Google Drive, and some teachers are even giving assignments within Google Drive now. It’s a fantastic tool, and with a Chromebook, it’s just baked right into the OS for easy access and collaboration.
5. It’s Lightweight. Especially the Acer Chromebook 11, it’s small, it’s lightweight, it will easily fit in a backpack. It’s going to be simple for those small people to tote around and be able to do their homework at the kitchen table, or their homework desk.
One common misconception on the Chromebooks is that it will perform like a regular laptop. This is not a laptop with a Windows operating system. It does not have a large internal hard drive. It will not install software programs, or store files. There will be a few things you can do with it offline, but for the most part to use it, you will need it to have internet access.
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