Nov 19 2014

New York City Schools Greenlight Chromebook Support

The city Department of Education’s CIO calls the notebook an ‘affordable and manageable option.’

The largest school system in the U.S. just signed on to Google’s series of education solutions.

The New York City Department of Education, which oversees more than 1,800 schools attended by 1 million students, recently approved the use of Google’s Chromebook notebooks and Apps for Education suite in the city school system. In a Monday blog post, department CIO Hal Friedlander explained why they got the official OK.

"We want the schools to have choices — whether it is a laptop or a tablet or both — across price range and functionality," Friedlander writes. "Administrators told us they liked Google Apps because they could be as open or restrictive as they wanted in terms of how much communication they allowed beyond the school domain."

Friedlander says many New York City public school teachers had already been using Google’s suite of apps, and the tools are “intuitive” so staff hasn't needed much training. But to make the transition even more seamless, there is an online resource center to help schools use Google’s suite of tools.

The news of the NYC school system embracing its products is sure to bolster Google’s position in the education technology market. The combination of the notebook’s affordable price, lightweight build, and ease of setup have appealed to school districts of all sizes. According to a July survey by Gartner, an estimated 85 percent of Chromebooks sold are used in education.

Ahead of an upcoming report from IT analyst IDC, Google announced Nov. 10 that Chromebooks recently became the best-selling device in K–12 schools.

Exact sales figures were not disclosed, but EdSurge reports that approximately 713,000 Chromebooks were shipped for the K–12 market in the third quarter.