Thursday, April 10, 2014

The New Chromebook For Leyden Is...

Leyden High School District 212 is currently in our second year of being fully 1:1 with all 3,400 students getting issued Chromebooks. Our current device is the original Samsung Series 5. For the past few months we have been evaluating the new models that have hit the market (HP 11, HP 14, Acer C720, Acer C720P, Dell 11, and Toshiba 13) with the hope of selecting a new device for next year. Here is the process we used to evaluate the new models:
  • Purchased two of each new model as soon as it became available.
  • A few administrators and I used the new devices for a couple weeks.
  • Two of our Tech Support Intern students used the new Chromebooks as their primary devices for 7-10 days and wrote up a review that I posted on my blog (HP 11, HP 14, Acer C720, Acer C720P, Dell 11, and Toshiba 13).  FYI... Our Tech Support Intern class acts as the Level 1 support for all tech-related issues in our district, including the repair of Chromebooks.  Here are their websites:  East Leyden TSI and West Leyden TSI.
  • My tech department team then disassembled and reassembled each device and took notes about the support of each device.
  • Our Tech Support Intern classes were then asked to disassemble and reassemble the devices and provide feedback through a Google Form.
  • My team read as many reviews about each model as possible.
  • My team spoke with all the vendors and asked them lots of questions.
  • We analyzed all the information.
Some of the variables we took into consideration when evaluating the devices included the following:  cost, projected durability, ease of repairs, size, user experience, and vendor support systems.  The two models that made it to our final round were the Acer C720 and the Dell 11 (both 4GB versions).  Here's how they measured up with regards to our key factors:

Dell 11 Acer C720
Note: The Dell 11 is no longer that much more than the Acer C720.  Contact your rep. 

Projected Durability
Ease of Repairs
User Experience
Vendor Support
 The Acer support seemed very good.  One of the reasons we gave the edge to Dell is because we have been using their support system for years and have been very pleased with it.

In the end, especially after some very aggressive pricing provided by our Dell rep, we have decided to select the 4GB Dell 11 as our Chromebook for the 2014-2015 school year.  Earlier tonight, I made a final presentation to the Leyden Board of Education and they agreed to move forward with the purchase and refresh our entire fleet of 3,400 Chromebooks for next year!

The tech-infused culture of teaching and learning in Leyden High School Distirct 212 marches on!

If you'd like to learn more about what we are doing here at Leyden, please consider joining us for our 1:1 Summer Symposium from July 31 - August 1, 2014.