In order to get an idea of which device would be best for teaching and learning in Moore County Schools, we conducted a test / pilot of 5 different types of devices- a 15" HP laptop, an 11" Macbook Air, and 3 different types of Google Chromebooks (Lenovo X131e, Samsung 3 series and Samsung S550). For the first 2.5 months of the 2013-2014 school year, 12 teachers and over 850 students participated in this pilot, using their devices daily to collaborate, create, and publish digital work.
Students and teachers were asked to provide feedback on:
- What qualities in a laptop were most important to them
- How well each laptop was able to handle collaboration, creation, and publication
- How easy or difficult the devices were to use and manage in the classroom.
Below are the results of this research
1. What qualities in a laptop were most important to students?
Question: When selecting a technology device for school, what is most important to you?
In 3 of the top 4 categories, Google Chromebooks were clearly superior (Long Battery Life, Starts up Quickly, Easy to use Google Drive). In the 4th, "Allows me to Express my Creativity", our pilot showed us that each device performed this task equally well.
2. How well each laptop handled collaboration, creation, and publication
The culmination of our pilot was a common project created by students that showcased their abilities to collaborate, create, and publish utilizing the devices they had been given. Each group of teachers worked collaboratively to design and implement this common project.
Topics for Common Projects:
English I (High School): Comparing and Contrasting how different authors utilized literary devices to enhance their writing
Biology (High School): Studying Transgenic organisims, DNA Fingerprinting, and associated ethics issues
7th/8th Grade ELA: Self-selected informational writing
On November 21st, 2013, selected students showcased their final publications to our MCS senior leadership team, School Board, parents, community members, and the media.
Selected Student Work Samples for each device / project
|Connor and Jack||Pinecrest HS||Google Chromebook||Project Link|
|Sara||Union Pines HS||HP Laptop||Project Link|
7th/8th Grade ELA
|Ryan||New Century MS||Macbook Air||Project Link|
|Victoria||Elise MS||Google Chromebook||Project Link|
|Karlye||Westmoore MS||Google Chromebook||Project Link|
After carefully reviewing this student work, our digital leadership team agreed that each project was high quality and that there were no measurable differences in quality based on device used.
3. How easy or difficult the devices were to use and manage in the classroom.
Through student and teacher interviews, it was determined that:
- Google Chromebooks had very little learning curve and were easy to manage
- Macbook Airs had the largest learning curve but were also easy to manage
- HP Laptops had the smallest learning curve but had management issues (battery life, weight)
When all data was considered and our leadership team felt good that each of the devices would work well with our students, fiscal responsibility entered the conversation. The Chromebook cost significantly less than the other devices considered. This made the logical conclusion that we could accomplish all of our goals with Google Chromebooks as our student's main device for both school and home.
Cross-Posted to Moore @School website