Chromebooks for Port Macquarie school



blog It’s only been a few weeks since Google’s Chromebooks landed in Australia, but at least one organisation has already started deploying them. According to Computerworld (we recommend you click here for the full article), St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie, NSW, is fully into Chrome OS:

“Matt Richards, e-learning leader at SCAS, said that the school has purchased 60 Samsung Chromebooks. , with Samsung and Acer offering the initial models, and an HP Chromebook to launch later this year.”

This is actually a really interesting article; detailing how the school is using the Chromebooks in practice with students and why. Personally, it’s not the approach I would take — Chrome OS isn’t precisely the most mainstream operating system out there, and in my view, Chromebooks aren’t really here to stay (like the ill-fated netbook, their usefulness is limited), but it is fascinating seeing these kinds of deployments in the wild. Not everyone needs to sign up to the old Wintel paradigm or the new Apple iPad monopoly to get their school equipped with the latest tech. Kudos to St Columba for their innovative strategy.

Image credit: Samsung/Google


  1. Chromebooks have been available for a while…. through resellers. “At least one organisation has already started deploying them”

    Chromebooks aren’t really here to stay – I think Google’s strategy and communication around these devices contradicts this assertion. Considering these are specifically targeted at the business market and not personal consumption, Quickoffice inclusion just recently, Chromebook pixel. I have seen nothing but major investment from Google here.

  2. “devices need to have at least a 7-inch screen” – Given these are school devices and they are using them virtually all day, I would have some serious questions as a parent about my childs eyes.

    I was having some issues working on my little alienware m11x’s 11 inch screen, I ditched it for a 13″ ultrabook and within a week my eyes weren’t straining and having focusing issues.

  3. Renai you could take a chrome book challenge you don’t even need a chrome book just load chrome on you pc and only use that there is actually very little a consumer needs or wants that can’t be done through chrome OS. Gaming is probably the last big area where you need Windows and that will slowly change given that both major graphics card manufacturers are not producing cloud infrastructure which will allow for streaming of games much like On-live was in the US.

    I actually think we are seeing a major shift and maybe there will be no PS5 why bother when you could have PS cloud streaming through any device and a bluetooth controller.

  4. > Personally, it’s not the approach I would take — Chrome OS
    > isn’t precisely the most mainstream operating system out there

    It depends on why you think kids are sent to school. Is it to educate them or is it to teach them to use corporate apps like Excel and Windows so they’ll be good worker bees when they enter the jobs market?

    And what’s “mainstream”, anyway? Remember, Android and iOS didn’t even exist six years ago, and now they dominate the smartphone and tablet market – two *markets” that largely didn’t exist, either!

    The “Wintel paradigm”, as you call it, has had its day. See today’s Gartner story, for example.

  5. Saying that Chromebooks aren’t here to stay is like saying the Web isn’t here to stay. Similarly calling them “not mainstream” is like saying that the Web isn’t mainstream. Surprisingly short-sighted of you Mr. LeMay.

    Chromebooks are excellent machines for organisations that have already deployed Google Apps. They make even more sense in Education. Zero hassle, zero maintenance devices that provide an extremely delightful and immersive experience. Take up will be slow in Australia, but I expect to see a lot more news like this in the future.

  6. I’m a teacher using one in Canberra They are fast to boot. No games (well nothing compared to the other. Perfect for our deployment and integration of Google Apps for Education. All round I reckon that they are the best investment a school could make for students and teachers

  7. Renai, considering the number of universities and schools that are migrating to GoogleApps, and the fact that a Chromebook has sat at the top of Amazon’s best selling laptop lists for months, can you elaborate on the viewpoint that these are just a fad that will go away?

    Keep in mind I might be a little biased, as I have a Netbook on the desk next to me and am planning to buy a Chromebook in coming months.

  8. Light weight, long battery life, keyboard for content creation, fast boot, minimal crapware, easy to maintain OS, some enterprise management capability available, sounds like a great device for education to me!

    I actually think they are a great bridge between the old Wintel and new iPad paradigms you mention – larger screen and a keyboard make it much better than an iPad for content creation, plenty of cloud apps/services available for Chrome, and if you need Wintel then connect to a virtual desktop.


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