Chromebook Basics: What Every User Needs to Know

Chromebook Basics: What Every User Needs to Know

There is no other device that is more mysterious or more misunderstood than the Chromebook. After all, what is a Chromebook exactly? Why are Chromebooks so weird? Why don’t they have a caps lock key? Today, we’re breaking down the Chromebook basics that every user needs to know.


What is a Chromebook?

First things first, let’s put the mystery to an end. A Chromebook is a type of laptop that is run on the Chrome OS. Chromebooks are unique in that they are internet-heavy machines. They’re a favorite for ed tech programs across the nation because of their affordability and ease of use.


Chromebook Basics

Here are seven Chromebook basics to help you navigate your device like a pro.


1. Right Click

The most elementary of Chromebook basics, the right click. If you aren’t using a mouse, how on earth do you right click? Similar to other laptops, you can right click on a Chromebook by tapping two fingers at the same time on the touchpad.

Note: This will only work if tap-to-click is enabled, which is most likely enabled. If disabled, toggle the setting on under Mouse and Touchpad Device settings (Settings > Advanced > Manage Accessibility Features > Mouse and Touchpad > Open Mouse and Touchpad Settings).

You can also right click by pressing Alt while you click with one finger.


2. View all Keyboard Shortcuts

Chromebooks pride themselves on a streamlined approach, so it’s no surprise that they’re full of handy keyboard shortcuts. And, even less surprising, there’s a keyboard command to see all keyboard shortcuts. Press Ctrl + Alt + ? to view a keyboard overlay with keyboard shortcuts.

You can also check our handy guide to Chromebook keyboard shortcuts.


3. Customize Your Shelf

Customize your desktop by editing your shelf and its position. The shelf, aka taskbar or dock, is located at the bottom of your screen by default. It displays which apps are running and holds app shortcuts for easy launch.

Customize your shelf to reflect the apps you use most frequently. Here is how you add and remove apps to your shelf:

  • Add an app: Use the launcher key to find the app you wish to pin to your shelf. Right click on the app icon and select Pin to Shelf.
  • Add a webpage: Open the site you wish to add to your shelf. Click the snowman menu (three vertical dots), then select Create Shortcut. For a desktop experience, select open as window.
  • Remove an app: Right click on the app icon in your shelf that you wish to remove and select Unpin.

Don’t like your shelf at the bottom of your screen? No sweat. Change its position by right clicking on the shelf and selecting Shelf Position. You can also hide the shelf by selecting Autohide.


4. Use Guest Mode to Share Your Chromebook

Since Chromebooks are so internet-centric, they rely heavily on the primary user’s Google account. You are always logged into your Google account for ease of access to Gmail and Google Drive. This can make sharing your Chromebook a bit unsettling.

Have no fear, Chromebooks do have a Guest mode that allow for someone to use your Chromebook without disturbing your settings or files. Simply select Guest Mode from the lock screen.


5. Turn Caps Lock On/Off

You may notice that your caps lock key has been replaced with another key which is clearly not caps lock. While we don’t imagine you’ll be using shouty caps that frequently, it’s handy to know how to use caps lock when you need it.

There are actually two ways to do this. Caps lock has been replaced with the launcher or search key which shows all your apps and launches Google assistant. You can change the functionality of this key under Keyboard settings by selecting caps lock under the Search field (account > settings > keyboard settings).

Or, if you like the functionality of the launcher/search key, just toggle caps lock on and off by using the keyboard shortcut Alt + search key.


6. Split Your Screen

This is a Chromebook basic to make you feel and look like the productive beast that you truly are. It’s especially handy for students that need to watch their teacher and take notes or complete assignments concurrently. There are a couple ways to do this. Pressing Alt + [ ] (both bracket keys) splits your screen into two tabs. Or press Alt + [ (left bracket) or Alt + ] (right bracket) to send a tab to the left or right side of your screen respectively.


7. Parental Controls

This is a great tip for anyone monitoring a student’s progress on their Chromebook. You can create a supervised user and then edit permissions, which allows you to block certain websites. If your device is managed by your school, there is a chance that your student is already using a supervised account.

Here’s how:

  • Create supervised user: From the sign-in screen, click Add User then Create Supervised User. Enter child’s Google account info.
  • Edit/manage permissions: Sign into your account and edit user permissions under Supervised Users Dashboard. Select Manage to edit which websites the user is allowed to view. To block a website, insert an asterisk in place of www in the web address, e.g. *

This also works if you are sharing your Chromebook is your family computer. You can easily set up supervised accounts for your children, or anyone else in the household.


AGParts Education supports 7,000+ school districts across the nation as their complete 1:1 Chromebook deployment partner. Find out how we can help your district. Contact us today!

How to Tune Up a Chromebook in 15 Minutes

How to Tune Up a Chromebook in 15 Minutes

When it comes to a device, Chromebooks simply can’t be beat in terms of maintenance. Chrome OS updates and security patches are regularly delivered by Google and run in the background. There is little to no software and Chromebooks are also lean on hardware. However, there are a few tips and tricks on how to tune up a Chromebook to boost performance and your user experience.


How to Tune Up a Chromebook

Here are eight tips and tricks to tune up a Chromebook. Most of these tips, or combinations thereof, can be done in 15-20 minutes.


Uninstall Unnecessary Apps & Extensions

Required Time: 3 minutes
Recommended Frequency: Quarterly, or as needed

A great tip for all your devices—uninstalling unnecessary apps and extensions. Apps that you don’t use can slow your Chromebook’s speed and performance. They sometimes run in the background eating bandwidth and slowing load times of web pages.

Also, extra apps and extensions:

  • Open the door to unnecessary data sharing
  • Take up limited local storage
  • Are a visual eyesore

How: To remove unwanted apps, access chrome:extensions in a new browser window. Review the items thoroughly and remove any unneeded apps or extensions. If you are on the fence about certain apps, toggle the app off. This deactivates the app but leaves the app on your Chromebook. If you miss it after a few days, activate it. If you don’t notice its absence, delete it.


Clear Your Cache

Required Time: 1 minute
Recommended Frequency: Daily, or after every browser session

Is Google Chrome especially sluggish or behaving squirrely? Clearing your browser’s cache could be just the fix you need.

Clearing your browser’s cache is a great performance tip for any device. It removes unnecessary files and cookies that are stored when you visit websites. It’s one of the quickest and easiest hacks, too!

It’s good to get into the habit of clearing your cache after each browser session or at the end of the day. Another great feature about clearing your cache is you can customize what you delete. For example, you can choose to remove cookies and cached files, but leave your browsing history intact.

How: In Google Chrome, click the snowman menu (three vertical dots) in the top right of the browser window. From there, follow these commands: Settings > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data. Be sure to select exactly what you want to remove under both the Basic and Advanced tabs.


Review Extension Permissions

Required Time: 5 minutes
Recommended Frequency: Quarterly, or after new extensions are added

You can control how and when an extension is allowed to access data on your device, a feature introduced in 2019.

There are several options available now. Extensions can:

  • Access browsing data all the time without restrictions
  • Access browsing data only during the period of use
  • Never access browsing data

How: Access chrome:extensions. Review access for each extension under Site access in Details.

Choose wisely. Most extensions need access to some sort of browsing data to function. If an extension keeps requesting a higher level of permission, chances are it needs it to run. You can upgrade its access or remove it entirely.


Uninstall/Update Unnecessary Android or Linux Apps

Required Time: 3 minutes
Recommended Frequency: Every 6-12 months

Much like the first tip, you can also remove any unneeded Android or Linux apps. The same benefits for removal apply.

For Android or Linux apps that survived, be sure to check and install updates. These apps don’t always update automatically.

How to Uninstall Apps: From Chromebook’s launcher, review apps. To remove unwanted apps, right click or long press, then Uninstall.

How to Update Android Apps: Access My apps & games in Google Play Store. Follow on-screen prompts to download updates.

How to Update Linux Apps: From Chromebook’s Terminal app, enter sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade into the prompt command to update.


Optimize Shortcuts

Required Time: 5 minutes
Recommended Frequency: Every 6 months or as needed

At its best, a Chromebook is equipped with all sorts of possible shortcuts to save time and boost productivity. It’s up to you to harness their power.

Update Shelf/Tray

A Chromebook’s tray or shelf is akin the Windows taskbar or a MacBook’s dock. Customize your tray to reflect the apps you use most frequently by adding/removing apps and website shortcuts:

Add an app: Use the launcher key to find the app you wish to pin to your shelf. Right click on the app icon and select Pin to Shelf.

Add a webpage: Open the site you wish to add to your shelf. Click the snowman menu (three vertical dots), then select Create Shortcut. For a desktop experience, select Open as Window.

Remove an app: Right click on the app icon in your shelf that you wish to remove and select Unpin.

Create Keyword Shortcuts

A great time-saving tip is to create shortcuts for internal functions or webpages based on keywords. For example, you can create a shortcut to pull up Chromebook settings simply by typing cs into your search bar.

How: Go to the website you want to create a keyword shortcut for. Copy the URL. Access chrome:settings/searchengines in your search bar. Click Add, then enter the information about the following information about the shortcut:

  • Search engine will be the name of destination URL
  • Keyword is what you type into the address bar to return URL
  • Paste the URL you’ve copied into URL


Clean Cloud Storage & Sync Downloads Folder

Required Time: 3 minutes
Recommended Frequency: Every 1-3 months, or as needed

Remove unwanted or unneeded files from your Chromebook’s Files app every couple of months. This will reduce your clutter and keep your files organized.

Since Chromebooks have limited local storage, sync your downloads folder to your Google Drive. After you complete this step, all downloads will be saved to the cloud instead of locally.

How: From chrome:settings > Advanced > Location > Downloads > Change. Then, select a folder, or create a Downloads folder.


Enable Night Light

Time Required: 1 minute
Recommended Frequency: Once

Night Light adjusts your Chromebook’s display to make it less bright in evening hours or in limited lighting.

How: Two ways to do this. Enable Night Light under Quick Settings panel or within Chrome OS settings. From chrome:settings > Displays > Night Light. From there, edit the schedule to turn on the Night Light during certain hours of the day.


Enable Universal Voice Input

Time Required: 1 minute
Recommended Frequency: Once

You can enable system-wide dictation on your Chromebooks, just as you can use Siri on a MacBook or Cortana in Windows.

After this option is enabled, a small microphone will appear in the lower right corner of your screen next to notifications. Tap it any time you wish to use this option.

How: From chrome:settings > Advanced > Accessibility > Manage accessibility features > Enable dictation (speak to type).


For more Chromebook tips and tricks, check out our blogs on Chromebooks Basics and Chromebook Tips for Power Users.


AGParts Education supports 7,500+ innovative 1:1 school districts in Chromebook parts supply and technology buyback. Contact us today to see how we can help your school.


Guide to Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

Guide to Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

Ready to work like a pro on your Chromebook? Integrate these common Chromebook keyboard shortcuts to boost your productivity. For more tips, check out our guide to Chromebook basics.


Keyboard overlay of all shortcuts: Press Ctrl + Alt + ? 

Lock your Chromebook’s screen: Press Search + L or Launcher + L

Log out of your Google account: Press Ctrl + Shift + Q twice

Screenshot: Press Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows, select Screenshot, then full screen, partial, or window screenshot in the bottom menu

Record Screen: Press Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows, select Screen Record, then full screen, partial, or window screen record in the bottom menu

Toggle Caps Lock: Press Alt + Search or Alt + Launcher (the Search/launcher key is in place of the caps lock key on a Chromebook keyboard)

Launch the Task Manager: Press Shift + Esc

Launch apps 1-8 in the shelf, starting on left: Press Alt + 1-8

Launch last app in the shelf: Press Alt + 9

Split screen: Press Alt + both bracket keys [ ] 

Dock window to the left side of your screen: Press Alt + [

Dock window to the right side of your screen: Press Alt + ]

Open the Files app: Press Alt + Shift + M 

View notifications: Press Alt + Shift + N

Rotate screen 90 degrees: Press Ctrl + Shift + Refresh (F3)

Magnify whole screen: Press Ctrl + Search + M or Ctrl + Launcher + M

Partial magnification: Press Ctrl + Search + D or Ctrl + Launcher + D


Looking for more? Visit the complete library of Chromebook shortcuts.


Web Shortcuts


If you are savvy with keyboard commands on a Windows laptop or MacBook, you may recognize some of these.

Open new window: Press Ctrl + N

Open new tab: Press Ctrl + T

Close current tab: Press Ctrl + W

Activate tabs 1-8, starting on left: Press Ctrl + 1-8

Go to last tab: Press Ctrl + 9

Go to next tab in window: Press Ctrl + Tab

Go to previous tab in window: Press Ctrl + Shift + Tab

Maximize window: Press Alt + = 

Minimize window: Press Alt + – (minus)

For more web shortcuts, learn the 47 keyboard commands that work in all web browsers.


Text-Editing Shortcuts


Just as Chromebooks support a bevy of web shortcuts, they also supports most text-editing shortcuts.

Undo: Press Ctrl + Z

Copy: Press Ctrl + C

Cut: Press Ctrl + X

Paste: Press Ctrl + V

Select All: Press Ctrl + A

Delete previous word: Press Ctrl + backspace

Delete: Press Alt + backspace


AGParts Education is your complete partner for your 1:1 Chromebook initiative. Supporting over 7,500+ U.S. school districts, find out how we can help your district. Contact us today!


Updated on 8/2/22. Originally published on 11/19/20.

Chromebook Spec Comparison Chart: Education Edition (2021 Update)

Chromebook Spec Comparison Chart: Education Edition (2021 Update)

Chromebooks are a popular choice for one-to-one computing programs, but how do you decide which Chromebook is right for your school? Our Chromebook Spec Comparison chart can help you compare popular and new Chromebooks for education.


What is a Chromebook?

First introduced in June 2011, a Chromebook is a type of laptop that uses Chrome OS to run. Chromebooks are internet-heavy devices, and most activities occur online. This includes word processing, creating spreadsheets and slideshows, notetaking, etc. These docs are automatically saved to cloud storage via Google Drive. Chromebooks have limited internal storage and rely on cloud-based storage for most applications and data.

Google provides regular updates and security patches to Chromebooks until their Auto Update Expiration. With built-in virus protection, regular security updates, and cloud-based work, Chromebooks are extremely secure devices and less prone to viruses.


Why are Chromebooks so popular in schools?

Durable, affordable, secure, fast, easy to deploy—the list of pros goes on. According to 2018 data, 60% of K-12 devices purchased in the US were Chromebooks. Worldwide, Chromebooks came in first place for K-12 devices with 31% of educators reporting their use. In 2019, Google reported 40 million Chromebooks in use in education.

Bear in mind that this data is prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chromebook’s popularity has exploded as more schools had to adjust to remote learning in 2020-2021 school years. There’s no sign that this Chromebook sales will be slowing anytime soon.

Remember that just like any device, there are pros and cons of a Chromebook. Be sure to do your research on different K-12 devices to ensure your students end up with the device that is best for them.

Chromebook Spec Comparison Chart

Name Release Screen Resolution CPU Model CPU Speed Memory Storage Battery Weight (lbs) 2-in-1 Touch
Acer Chromebook 314 2021 14 1366 x 768
1920 x 1080
Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 32GB 12 3.75 No No
Acer Chromebook 512 2021 12 1366 x 912 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 32GB 12 3.09 No No
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 2021* 13.3 1920 x 1080 Qualcomm Kryo 468 2.1 4-8GB 64GB 13.5 2.65 Yes Yes
Acer Chromebook Spin 511 2021 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 32GB 10 2.78 Yes Yes
HP Chromebook 11MK G9 EE 2021 11.6 1366 x 768 MediaTek MT8183 2.0 4-8GB 32-64GB eMMC 12 2.95 No Available
HP Chromebook 11 G9 EE 2021* 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4500 or N5100 1.1 4-8GB 32-64GB eMMC 12 2.95 No Available
HP Chromebook x360 11MK G3 EE 2021 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 32GB eMMC 12 3.19 Yes Yes
HP Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE 2021* 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4500 or N5100 1.1 4GB 32-64GB eMMC 12 3.19 Yes Available
HP Chromebook 14 G7 2021* 14 1366 x 768
1920 x 1080
Intel Celeron N4500 or N5100 1.1 4-8GB 32-64GB eMMC 12 3.4 No Available
Lenovo 100E Gen 3 2021* 11.6 1366 x 768 AMD 3015Ce 1.2 4GB 32GB eMMC 10 2.76 No No
Lenovo 300E Gen 3 2021* 11.6 1366 x 768 AMD 3015Ce 1.2 4GB 32GB eMMC 10 2.9 Yes Yes
Lenovo 500E Gen 3 2021* 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N5100
Intel Pentium Silver N6000
8GB 64GB eMMC 10 2.9 Yes Yes
Lenovo 14e Gen 2 2021* 14 1366 x 768
1920 x 1080
AMD 3015Ce 1.2 4-8GB 32-64GB eMMC 10 3.2 No Available
Acer Chromebook 311 2020 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 32GB 10 2.43 No Available
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 2020 11.6 1366 x 768 MediaTek MT8183 2.0 4GB 32-64GB 15 2.65 Yes Yes
HP Chromebook 11 G8 EE 2020 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 8GB 32GB eMMC 13.5 2.91 No No
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2020 10.1 1920 x 1200 MediaTek Helio P60T 2.0 4GB 64GB 10 1 Yes Yes
Acer Chromebook 15 2019 15.6 1920 x 1080 Intel Pentium N4200 1.1 4GB 32GB 12 4.3 No No
Dell Chromebook 3100 2019 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 16-32GB eMMC 14 2.85 Available Available
HP 14A G5 2019 14 1366 x 768
1920 x 1080
AMD A4-9120C APU
AMD A6-9220C APU
4GB 16-64GB eMMC 9 3.46 No Available
HP Chromebook x360 12b 2019 12 1366 x 912 Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 4GB 32GB 13 2.98 Yes Yes
HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE 2019 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4000
Intel Celeron 4100
1.1 4-8GB 16-64GB eMMC 13 2.93 No Available
Lenovo Chromebook C340 2019 11.6 1366 x 768 Intel Celeron N4000 1.1 4GB 64GB 10 2.65 Yes Yes
Samsung Chromebook 4+ (15-inch) 2019 15.6 1920 x 1080 Intel Celeron N4000 1.1 4GB 32GB+ 10 3.75 No No


*At date of publication, these models have been announced, but have not been released.

AGParts Education supports 6,000+ US school districts with their 1:1 Chromebook initiatives. From Chromebook parts to technology buyback, contact us to see how we can help your district. 

Managing Comments in Google Classroom (2021 Update)

Managing Comments in Google Classroom (2021 Update)

Google classroom is a comprehensive digital learning management tool. Its capabilities are many: teachers can create classes and assignments; teachers can communicate with guardians and students and vice versa; students can communicate with each other. The list goes on.

A huge benefit of Google Classroom is the stream feature. It’s the social hub of the platform, where both teacher and student can post comments. It also posts updates when assignments are created. As a teacher, how do you manage these comments? As a student, what are you able to post?


The Stream

Google Classroom’s feed is called the stream. Here the teacher and students can post comments or share resources. The stream is also the landing page for each class and assignments are automatically announced on the stream. It’s a great way for teacher and student to engage, and foster community amongst students.


How to Turn Off Comments on Google Classroom

Google Classroom’s default setting allows students to post but teachers can decide if students can post and comment in each class. Managing permissions within Google classroom is easy and can be assigned at both the class and student levels. If posting is enabled, students can only delete their posts or comments (no editing is allowed).

Students can share content or questions via posts, comment on a post, or reply to a comment if this is enabled. Disable this setting in Settings > General > Stream > select option.

You can also mute a student in class. This means they cannot post or comment in the class but can still send private comments to you. There will be no indication to the muted student that they have been muted.

To mute (or unmute) a student: Class > People > Select Student > Actions > Mute and confirm.

To mute (or unmute) a student from their post or comment: From class, point to the post or comment form the student. Click More (snowman menu/vertical three dots) then Mute student name.


How to Post to the Stream

Posting on the stream is easy and the process is the same for both teacher and student. Under the class tile, there is a posting box (Share something with your class…). This is where you type your comment. You can also easily add an attachment, file from Google Drive, video, or link to share a resource.

Students can only post to the stream if this setting is enabled by their teacher.

Teachers also have the option to post updates to all students or individual students.


How to Comment on a Post or Reply to a Comment

On the post, type your comment in the Add Class Comment box. Then click the paper airplane to post. You can also mention a classmate or your teacher by using the plus sign and the person’s name (+name).

To reply to a comment, simply press the left-facing arrow. Then, follow the above steps.

If there is no option to add a class comment, the setting has been disabled.


How to Make a Private Comment on Google Classroom

Students can also communicate directly and privately with their teacher by posting a private comment to an assignment or question.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. From the Stream, click the assignment or question. Then select Add Private Comment. Type your comment and post.
  2. From the Classwork page, navigate to the assignment or question by clicking View Assignment or View Question. Select Add Private Comment. Type your comment and post.


How to Edit Comments on Google Classroom

Students cannot edit posts or comments after they’ve been posted. Be sure to proofread your posts or comments prior to posting. Public comments can be deleted, but teachers can view deleted comments.


How to Edit Private Comments on Google Classroom

Students cannot edit public or private comments on Google Classroom.

However, teachers can. There are two ways to do this—one via desktop and the other via phone app:

  1. Desktop: Click the student’s private comment, but do not open their work. The comments should display like a stream below their work. Right click on the comment and there is an option to edit or delete.
  2. Phone app: Tap comment and the option to edit or delete will appear.


How to Delete Comments on Google Classroom

On the comment you wish to delete, click More (snowman menu/vertical three dots). Select Delete and confirm. Bear in mind that teachers can view deleted comments.


How to Delete Private Comments on Google Classroom

Unfortunately, private comments cannot be deleted by students on Google Classroom. Teachers can delete private comments via desktop or phone app as explained above.


Comment Bank on Google Classroom

For teachers, adding feedback to assignments is easy with the comment bank. It allows teachers to store and access their most popular comments in one place.

There are two ways to add comments to the comment:

  1. Add an existing comment: After the comment is posted, click More (snowman menu/three vertical dots) > Add to comment bank…
  2. Enter a comment directly to the bank: In classroom, open Comment Bank > Add to bank. From here you can add a single comment, multiple comments by pressing enter after each one, or paste in a prepared list of comments.


AGParts Education supports 6,000+ innovative 1:1 school districts in Chromebook parts supply and technology buyback. Contact us today to see how we can help your school.


Pros and Cons of a Chromebook

Pros and Cons of a Chromebook

Chromebooks have become a popular choice for 1:1 programs across the U.S. In fact, 30 million students and educators used Chromebooks in 2019 alone. Their popularity continues to surge as more schools rely on their hybrid instruction. There are a host of benefits of Chromebooks in the classroom, but what are the overall pros and cons of a Chromebook?


Pros of a Chromebook

They’re sleek, lightweight, and fast. But there’s so much more to a Chromebook.


Secure & Fast

Chromebooks are extremely secure and fast due to regular auto updates devices receive until their Auto Update Expiration (AUE). This means your Chromebook will receive software updates, vital security patches, and technical support for six-a-half to eight-and-a-half years depending on AUE.


Low Price & Low Lifetime Cost

One of the best things about Chromebooks is the price tag. It simply can’t be beat. More expensive Chromebooks do exist, but you can still find a solid Chromebook for under $300—considerably less than their laptop counterpart. This is a significant factor for any school’s yearly budget.

Additionally, the lifetime cost of a Chromebook is low because Chromebooks don’t have the traditional moving parts that a laptop does. This means less mechanical malfunction and less need for repair, saving your district in the long term.


Integrated Virus Protection

Not only are Chromebooks less vulnerable to viruses, but their antivirus/malware protection is built into the Chrome OS. This is an additional cost savings, not to mention the time it saves your IT team in troubleshooting.


Little Maintenance

Since Chromebooks do not rely on software, there is no need for your IT team to install, update, support, or troubleshoot software. Updates are automatic via Google and a 24/7 helpdesk is available to Google Workspace subscribers. This unburdens your IT department and frees them to handle more pressing matters.


Collaborative & Built for Productivity

Chromebooks encourage collaboration, which is fantastic for both teachers and students. Chromebooks use Google Workspace, Google’s answer to Microsoft 365, and docs can be edited in real time by multiple users.

Chromebooks also rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts. Once learned, they are sure to boost productivity.

Additionally, there are few frivolous distractions on a Chromebook, as compared to a laptop, which encourages students’ productivity. Of course, we aren’t ruling out the fact that the internet can be a huge distraction, but we’ll let you decide how to monitor and restrict access to certain websites.


Mobile & Shareable

If the past year is any indication, a Chromebook’s mobility is a particularly compelling feature. They are very easy to transport since they are lightweight. If students need to bring their devices home, it’s easy to do so.

They’re also easy to share, making them ideal for schools that are working toward a 1:1 program. Chromebooks require a Google account for every user. Since Chromebooks rely on cloud-based storage, files are easily accessed via your personal login. When sharing, all students need to do is sign into their own account for a personal learning experience.


Cons of a Chromebook

As with any laptop or notebook, there are certain cons associated with a Chromebook.


No Microsoft 365*

For Chromebooks launched prior to 2019, Microsoft 365 cannot be installed. Instead, your teachers and students will use the Google Workspace which features Google Doc (Word), Google Sheets (Excel), and Google Sheets (PowerPoint), among other correlating applications.

This means there is an associated learning curve with this set of applications. Even though they are remarkably similar to Microsoft counterparts, there are still differences in commands and functionality. This could be less of an issue for younger generation of students as they have less familiarity with Microsoft apps. This could be more of an issue for teachers and older students as they transition to Google Workspace from Microsoft.

The good news is that files from all Google Workspace applications can be downloaded as their Microsoft counterpart, which proves helpful.

*However, Chromebook with a launch date after 2019 support apps designed for Android mobile use. This means Microsoft 365 is available via Google Play for Chrome. Check this list to ensure your Chromebook model supports this feature.


Limited Functionality Offline

With teachers reporting that 12% of students have no access to the internet at home, this could be huge factor depending on your district. Because most work occurs in browser-based applications, collaborative, real-time exercises will require an internet connection. If they don’t have internet access, this could impact you’re their experience.

Working offline with a Chromebook is not impossible, it just requires planning. There is still a workaround for this. Many apps feature offline settings, which need to be turned on. Students can edit docs offline, and when they are online again, edits will be synced.


Not Ideal for Multimedia Projects

Currently, the best software and applications for audio and video projects are not web based. There are plenty of web-based video editors and other applications that can provide a solid workaround.

This most likely is not a contributing factor for most districts, but could affect older students in journalism and broadcasting, music, or theater programs.


AGParts Education supports 6,000+ innovative 1:1 school districts in Chromebook parts supply and technology buyback. Contact us today to see how we can help your school.