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  • 1.  Chromebooks: Policies, Repairs, Resources

    Posted 03-23-2023 10:52 AM

    I am interested in learning how other schools handle student Chromebooks. 

    We purchase them for student use with the upper school students bringing them back and forth from home and lower school students keeping them on site in classroom sets.  Approximately 300 students use Chromebooks. 

     If you can share policies, related tech plans, tips for handling repairs, effectiveness of cases, suggested resources (vendors, Chromebook models, etc.)  or anything you think would be valuable to consider, I would appreciate it!


    Susan Murray
    Oak Hill Academy
    Lincroft NJ

  • 2.  RE: Chromebooks: Policies, Repairs, Resources

    Posted 04-18-2023 01:21 PM

    We have purchased Chromebooks in varying numbers over the last 7 years. I just had to retire our initial 100 devices because they would no longer update. We have just begun the process of issuing a Chromebook to each incoming freshman class this year. Because of suppl;y chain issues we ended up purchasing a model made by ctl.
    We have a number of issues with the keyboards, and after working with their tech support and paying for several repairs they just sent me 10 keyboards at no cost and then walked my tech through how to also modify the cable that seems to be the root cause of the keyboard issues
    Since I only have 9-12 graders trying cases on them felt hopeless - I think the cases like the power cords would just "disappear"
    I currently have a fleet of HP and ctl Chromebooks in use. 
    As for policies- all students are expected to have a device either issued by the school or approved for school use. We do not approve phones as a device, and we gladly issue a Chromebook to any student that fills out a contact form for one. If they just need one for a class - they surrender their ID in exchange for a loaned device or power cord.

    Hayley Gunther
    Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools
    Bryn Athyn PA

  • 3.  RE: Chromebooks: Policies, Repairs, Resources

    Posted 04-19-2023 11:51 AM

    Our school has been working with Chromebook Fleets since about 2014.  One of those fleets (our Library fleet of 20) is from this original batch and only one is missing a key.  They don't get the same use as the classroom fleets and, while they are no longer updating automatically, they will most likely have to hang on for one more year.  Our classroom fleets, however, are about to get an upgrade in our Middle school.  Some of these CBs have also been with us for 8-9 years and are slowly starting to fail.  Batteries or video cards are usually the pieces that cause it to come off line.  We have had some batteries start to expand and therefore, taken offline for safety.  Some of these devices have had battery change outs, but we don't waste time and money if they are already quite old.  Our school has not purchased cases for CBs.  And, yes, we have received some devices back with peices of their shells missing.  Ususally it is the corners from being dropped but they continued to work.
    As for vendors, we are just now scooting replacements this year and one of our locations for purchase is Tech To School.  They have a rather robust variety of Chromebooks, Windows Laptops, and Apple devices.  Their customer service is amazing as well.  If you are offlining devices, they even have a buy back program.
    I hope this helps.

    Julie Bryan (she/her)
    Client Technology Support Specialist
    The Bush School
    bush.edu | 206.326.7723 | Julie.Bryan@bush.edu

  • 4.  RE: Chromebooks: Policies, Repairs, Resources

    Posted 04-19-2023 02:33 PM

    We have the following device programs:

    LS: school owned Chromebooks in grades 1-4 (lower grades have iPads)
    MS and US (5-12): BYOD with these policies (in practice, PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks are allowed, and all belong to families and are not managed), with school-owned Chromebooks as loaners

    Our official replacement cycle is 5-6 years, with the Chromebooks spending the first 3-4 years in Lower School classrooms, and the remainder of their time in the MS and US libraries as the loaner fleet while students' BYOD machines are out for repair, out of battery, forgotten at home, etc.  We self-insure for accidental damage, and usually buy 10-15% extra devices in order to do so.  The upshot of those numbers recently has been that we're buying around 80 devices per year, with a fleet of approximately 450-500 school-owned Chromebooks.  We track inventory in a Google Sheet, with help from inventory stickers from myassettag.com.

    After some initial Samsungs in the early days of Chromebooks, we are now mostly buying Lenovos and Dells (we also buy a limited number of Asus machines for high-need FA students in MS and US, so they get machines that look different from our others.  At this point we are buying 2-in-1s with world facing cameras for digital portfolio use, with bumper cases (Lenovo-branded for Lenovos, Gumdrop for Dells).  The bumper cases have cut down on our breakage rates, but we do still replace around 10-15 screens per year.  We do not have many other cases of physical damage besides screen breakage -- maybe 1 per year.  We charge $20 for a lost charger, $50 for a broken screen, and $250 for a lost device.  We have had fewer hardware problems with the Dell 3100 2-in-1s we've bought in 2021 and 2022 than with the Lenovo 300es from 2019 and 2020.

    David Fulton-Howard
    McDonogh School
    Owings Mills MD