Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

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MnyGrl
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Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm

I have two kids, eight and twelve years old. Currently we have one Windows laptop at home running Win 10. It is about three years old and runs slowly but adequately. (Each of us has a Kindle Fire as well, for consumption of music, apps, web browsing, Netflix, etc. - so one laptop is usually enough. I am on the computer all day at work so try to stay off screens when not at work.)

The older child is in middle school, and has a Google account via her school system. When she goes to school, she picks up a laptop for the day and turns it in at the end of the day. Most of her schoolwork is done in Google Docs, so she can log in at home and work on it. Since she often has 2-3 hours of homework, this ties up the laptop most evenings in the school year.

I am thinking of getting her a cheap Chromebook in the fall for her schoolwork. I know very little about them. Her needs would mostly be working in Google Docs, surfing the web, and occasionally printing a document.

Would a Chromebook meet her needs? Any suggested models?

Thanks!

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by mptfan » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:29 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm
Would a Chromebook meet her needs?
Yes, it would be ideal.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by fortfun » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:35 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm
I have two kids, eight and twelve years old. Currently we have one Windows laptop at home running Win 10. It is about three years old and runs slowly but adequately. (Each of us has a Kindle Fire as well, for consumption of music, apps, web browsing, Netflix, etc. - so one laptop is usually enough. I am on the computer all day at work so try to stay off screens when not at work.)

The older child is in middle school, and has a Google account via her school system. When she goes to school, she picks up a laptop for the day and turns it in at the end of the day. Most of her schoolwork is done in Google Docs, so she can log in at home and work on it. Since she often has 2-3 hours of homework, this ties up the laptop most evenings in the school year.

I am thinking of getting her a cheap Chromebook in the fall for her schoolwork. I know very little about them. Her needs would mostly be working in Google Docs, surfing the web, and occasionally printing a document.

Would a Chromebook meet her needs? Any suggested models?

Thanks!
Yes, get one with plenty of memory and it should last five years. If it starts going too slow, close some tabs in Chrome. Each tab uses some memory. Generally, with a chromebook, you'll have less problems with viruses, updates, and slow start up.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by DelcoEE » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:42 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm


Would a Chromebook meet her needs? Any suggested models?

According to Popular Mechanics the Asus Chromebook ($245) is one of the best ones for students.
It got some pretty good reviews on Amazon too.
"It might not quite cut it for college or university, but Asus' very affordable Chromebook C202SA should easily get the job done for younger students"

The Best Laptops and Chromebooks for Students
https://www.popularmechanics.com/techno ... -students/

Here are some other of their recommendations:

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 ($529)
Asus Chromebook Flip ($499)

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:47 pm

fortfun wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:35 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm
I have two kids, eight and twelve years old. Currently we have one Windows laptop at home running Win 10. It is about three years old and runs slowly but adequately. (Each of us has a Kindle Fire as well, for consumption of music, apps, web browsing, Netflix, etc. - so one laptop is usually enough. I am on the computer all day at work so try to stay off screens when not at work.)

The older child is in middle school, and has a Google account via her school system. When she goes to school, she picks up a laptop for the day and turns it in at the end of the day. Most of her schoolwork is done in Google Docs, so she can log in at home and work on it. Since she often has 2-3 hours of homework, this ties up the laptop most evenings in the school year.

I am thinking of getting her a cheap Chromebook in the fall for her schoolwork. I know very little about them. Her needs would mostly be working in Google Docs, surfing the web, and occasionally printing a document.

Would a Chromebook meet her needs? Any suggested models?

Thanks!
Yes, get one with plenty of memory and it should last five years. If it starts going too slow, close some tabs in Chrome. Each tab uses some memory. Generally, with a chromebook, you'll have less problems with viruses, updates, and slow start up.
Thanks! What in your opinion would be plenty of memory?

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:47 pm

DelcoEE wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:42 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm


Would a Chromebook meet her needs? Any suggested models?

According to Popular Mechanics the Asus Chromebook ($245) is one of the best ones for students.
It got some pretty good reviews on Amazon too.
"It might not quite cut it for college or university, but Asus' very affordable Chromebook C202SA should easily get the job done for younger students"

The Best Laptops and Chromebooks for Students
https://www.popularmechanics.com/techno ... -students/

Here are some other of their recommendations:

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 ($529)
Asus Chromebook Flip ($499)
Great article, thanks!

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:33 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm
I am thinking of getting her a cheap Chromebook in the fall for her schoolwork. I know very little about them. Her needs would mostly be working in Google Docs, surfing the web, and occasionally printing a document.

Would a Chromebook meet her needs?
Yes!
Any suggested models?
For a 12 year old with only those simple needs, any model will suffice. Ask the technology office at her school which model they use. Often, familiarity and comfort with the keyboard is a primary attribute that might be worth keeping.

Consider getting a certified refurbished model, preferably a year or so out of date. You can find plenty in the $150 - $300 range. Don't pay any more than that.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by tc101 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:36 pm

Be aware that it is more complicated to print from a chromebook than from a regular computer.
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:38 pm

tc101 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:36 pm
Be aware that it is more complicated to print from a chromebook than from a regular computer.
Not if you have a wireless/wifi enabled printer.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:50 pm

Thanks for all the comments. They use exclusively Macs at school, and I have to endure a fair amount of whining that we don't have one, but I think it's good that she knows how to use multiple OSes in any case.

Can someone explain how printing works on a Chromebook? It is not a must-have since she could always email assignments to my other laptop for printing (connects to our Wifi printer).

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by fortfun » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:58 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:47 pm
fortfun wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:35 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 pm
I have two kids, eight and twelve years old. Currently we have one Windows laptop at home running Win 10. It is about three years old and runs slowly but adequately. (Each of us has a Kindle Fire as well, for consumption of music, apps, web browsing, Netflix, etc. - so one laptop is usually enough. I am on the computer all day at work so try to stay off screens when not at work.)

The older child is in middle school, and has a Google account via her school system. When she goes to school, she picks up a laptop for the day and turns it in at the end of the day. Most of her schoolwork is done in Google Docs, so she can log in at home and work on it. Since she often has 2-3 hours of homework, this ties up the laptop most evenings in the school year.

I am thinking of getting her a cheap Chromebook in the fall for her schoolwork. I know very little about them. Her needs would mostly be working in Google Docs, surfing the web, and occasionally printing a document.

Would a Chromebook meet her needs? Any suggested models?

Thanks!
Yes, get one with plenty of memory and it should last five years. If it starts going too slow, close some tabs in Chrome. Each tab uses some memory. Generally, with a chromebook, you'll have less problems with viruses, updates, and slow start up.
Thanks! What in your opinion would be plenty of memory?
I would go for 8GB RAM. I think she will be happy with the speed that it offers. 4GB will probably work fine too but you'll notice the speed slows down when many tabs are open.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by acegolfer » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:09 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:50 pm

Can someone explain how printing works on a Chromebook? It is not a must-have since she could always email assignments to my other laptop for printing (connects to our Wifi printer).
1st, many wifi printers today are google cloud ready. These printers will show up from her chromebook. This is the easiest solution.
2nd, if that doesn't work, your other laptop can share the printer to her google account. (I can work you through later)
3rd, as you said, she can share her document to you and you print out.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by acegolfer » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:10 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:47 pm
Thanks! What in your opinion would be plenty of memory?
4GB will be enough for school work. Of course, if she opens 10+ tabs, then it will slow down.

I have been using Chromebook since 2010. My recent CB just died because my DD spilled water on the keyboard. I paid $100 for it and I preferred it to my $1k Surface pro 4. I'm shopping for a new CB myself. I'm deciding between $100-$150 non-touch screen CB or $200-$250 touch screen and Android app ready CB.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by munemaker » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:24 pm

fortfun wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:58 pm

I would go for 8GB RAM. I think she will be happy with the speed that it offers. 4GB will probably work fine too but you'll notice the speed slows down when many tabs are open.
I am going to offer a counterpoint here. I have been using Chromebooks for years. Ordinary users do not need 8 Gb of RAM on a Chromebook. Very few even offer 8 Gb of RAM, only a few of the most expensive top-of-the line models. Most Chromebooks come with 2 Gb or 4 Gb. I have two Chromebooks and they both have 4 Gb. They run fine and I do not notice any slowdown when multiple tabs are open, although I don't usually have more than 6 or so open at a time. I have even run Bigfoot's RPM spreadsheet (LARGE) on my Chromebooks. I can't imagine why a Chromebook would need that much RAM. Just my two cents.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by fortfun » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:24 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:24 pm
fortfun wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:58 pm

I would go for 8GB RAM. I think she will be happy with the speed that it offers. 4GB will probably work fine too but you'll notice the speed slows down when many tabs are open.
I am going to offer a counterpoint here. I have been using Chromebooks for years. Ordinary users do not need 8 Gb of RAM on a Chromebook. Very few even offer 8 Gb of RAM, only a few of the most expensive top-of-the line models. Most Chromebooks come with 2 Gb or 4 Gb. I have two Chromebooks and they both have 4 Gb. They run fine and I do not notice any slowdown when multiple tabs are open, although I don't usually have more than 6 or so open at a time. I have even run Bigfoot's RPM spreadsheet (LARGE) on my Chromebooks. I can't imagine why a Chromebook would need that much RAM. Just my two cents.
I was primarily making that recommendation to make the chromebook last for 5 years (if desirable). I found the early generation (2gb) chromebooks to be rather slow. Of course, I frequently have several browsers open with dozens of tabs. I suspect the typical teenager operates like that also.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:19 am

Thanks for all the advice. I am probably going to go with 4GB to start, since the price goes up quite a bit for the 8GB chromebooks. I will try both at Best Buy and open a bunch of tabs to get a sense of the impact.

Again, thanks!!

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by BL » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:43 am

Best Buy did not have ASUS when I looked. Amazon has more. I have a basic one I use all the time with many tabs open. No problem with printing.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by mptfan » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:00 am

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:19 am
Thanks for all the advice. I am probably going to go with 4GB to start, since the price goes up quite a bit for the 8GB chromebooks. I will try both at Best Buy and open a bunch of tabs to get a sense of the impact.
I have two Chromebooks and one Chromebox at home, I no longer own any Windows based computers at home. I use the Chromebox as my primary computer, and I use a Chromebook as a portable laptop. I rarely use the memory on the computer because almost everything I do is stored on Google Drive, and I don't think you will see any difference at all in peformance between 4GB or 8GB of RAM.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by randomguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:50 am

The question is always is there something they might want to do that a chromebook can't do? Maybe some specialized learning (does Rosetta stone work well with chromebooks), programming (not many good IDEs that I am aware of), or art program? The web based versions of all of these are definitely getting better and better over time.

Other than that chromebooks are pretty sweet.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:18 am

Thanks for all your input!

Most of her work will be within Google Docs. There are a few websites she needs to use (like Quizlet for foreign language exercises), but these seem to work fine in the Chrome browser.

One other question: when you first get a Chromebook, do you set it up with a primary gmail address/profile? I know that you can get an individual gmail address at 13 and she is 12.5, so trying to figure out if I should set up some sort of family gmail account, or use her school gmail account, or my gmail account.

Thanks!

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:28 am

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:18 am
Thanks for all your input!

Most of her work will be within Google Docs. There are a few websites she needs to use (like Quizlet for foreign language exercises), but these seem to work fine in the Chrome browser.

One other question: when you first get a Chromebook, do you set it up with a primary gmail address/profile? I know that you can get an individual gmail address at 13 and she is 12.5, so trying to figure out if I should set up some sort of family gmail account, or use her school gmail account, or my gmail account.

Thanks!
You could set it up with a new Gmail address and then your children can log in with their individual school Google accounts. (Gmail account and Google account are essentially the same thing, both based on an email address.) Make a paper note of the date you created the account to aid in account recovery if needed in the future.

I think you are going in the right direction overall, no need to overthink it, just get a $300-500 Chromebook and then replace when needed, it's not that big of a deal.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by munemaker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:43 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:19 am
Thanks for all the advice. I am probably going to go with 4GB to start, since the price goes up quite a bit for the 8GB chromebooks. I will try both at Best Buy and open a bunch of tabs to get a sense of the impact.

Again, thanks!!
Happened to see this which may be of some interest to you:

https://www.techradar.com/news/cheap-chromebook-deals

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:07 pm

Bit of a contrarian opinion but I see Chromebook // Kids // Long-Term as a "pick two" scenario.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by squirm » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:18 pm

I have my kids using Windows laptops and learning Office, Visio and OneNote. I think it's beneficial to learn those packages, it carries over into the resume and corporate environment.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:27 pm

squirm wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:18 pm
I have my kids using Windows laptops and learning Office, Visio and OneNote. I think it's beneficial to learn those packages, it carries over into the resume and corporate environment.
I agree.

Chromebooks have their place. I am certainly happy that DW has one!

But kids should be learning all they can about technology rather than being offered simple solutions. IMO, of course.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by munemaker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:31 pm

Ideally, I would want the kids to be using the same OS at home as the school is using, but I would not pay an arm and a leg to do it.

Interesting NY Times article on the subject: "How Google Took Over the Classroom":

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/tech ... hools.html
The tech giant is transforming public education with low-cost laptops and free apps.
Today, more than half the nation’s primary- and secondary-school students — more than 30 million children — use Google education apps like Gmail and Docs, the company said.
When these kids grow up, they may well take Gmail, Docs and Sheets into the workplace with them. Maybe these will be the future resume builders and Office could be passe. Who knows?

And I would not call sheets a "simple solution." There is a lot to it if you want to master it.
Last edited by munemaker on Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by CFM300 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:33 pm

Lots of good advice regarding Chromebooks here:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-chromebook/

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by squirm » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:03 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:27 pm
squirm wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:18 pm
I have my kids using Windows laptops and learning Office, Visio and OneNote. I think it's beneficial to learn those packages, it carries over into the resume and corporate environment.
I agree.

Chromebooks have their place. I am certainly happy that DW has one!

But kids should be learning all they can about technology rather than being offered simple solutions. IMO, of course.
I've told our schools the same thing, sometimes it falls on deaf ears.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by squirm » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:06 pm

munemaker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:31 pm
Ideally, I would want the kids to be using the same OS at home as the school is using, but I would not pay an arm and a leg to do it.

Interesting NY Times article on the subject: "How Google Took Over the Classroom":

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/tech ... hools.html
The tech giant is transforming public education with low-cost laptops and free apps.
Today, more than half the nation’s primary- and secondary-school students — more than 30 million children — use Google education apps like Gmail and Docs, the company said.
When these kids grow up, they may well take Gmail, Docs and Sheets into the workplace with them. Maybe these will be the future resume builders and Office could be passe. Who knows?



And I would not call sheets a "simple solution." There is a lot to it if you want to master it.
I remember many saying Open Office (or whatever it was called in the 2000's) would overtake Office. From the Microsoft earnings, it sure doesn't look that way. Our very large corporation uses Office and is now moving into Office 365.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by masteraleph » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:32 pm

As others have said, a Chromebook will be fine for now, and will be cheaper than the alternatives available. In a few years, depending on her interests and school requirements, she may need something more substantial, but it's quite hard to know what the computer ecosystem will look like in a few years. Maybe some of the things that are done today on a PC or Mac will have more cloud based alternatives, maybe not- but even if the machine lasts 3 years, depreciating a sub-$500 laptop over that time will work out much better financially than a $1000 laptop that you won't really want to keep for 6 years. Buying a decent Chromebook will get you a few years of use, and you can reevaluate as she goes through high school what's necessary.

One note- if she's particularly into video/photo editing- I mean in a way well beyond snapchat- or coding, or something like that, then a Chromebook isn't going to cut it. That's why I mention that this may be a good solution for a couple of years, but perhaps not through high school. Of course, if more of that stuff goes cloud based, then who knows?

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by munemaker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:50 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:27 pm

But kids should be learning all they can about technology rather than being offered simple solutions. IMO, of course.
How would kids be learning more about technology by using Windows or Mac rather than a Chromebook? :confused Have you ever really used a Chromebook (and I don't mean for a few minutes)?

And if you can use a word processor or spreadsheet, is it really that difficult to move from one to another? During my career, I worked for companies that used Windows and companies that used Macs. Now retired and it is MY money and time, I use a Chromebook. It is not really that difficult to move from one to another.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by inbox788 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:10 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:27 pm
But kids should be learning all they can about technology rather than being offered simple solutions. IMO, of course.
IMO, many kids learning basic math and reading and writing have enough to deal with without complicating advanced technologies and getting too much help from automatic spelling correctors, grammar checkers, automatic summary generators, etc. Simple solutions are a great start, and a long term plan takes into account the need for upgrading based on needs.

A Chromebook is perfect for the use of the school google account, and if the student has needs beyond that, then seek out an appropriate system. An expensive solution is a MacBook or MacBook Pro if Google Docs is the main use, but has some advantages. Or the student may want a desktop with fast i7 and gets 1180. Let the needs dictate the solution and so far, a Chromebook is a good start.

I’m not sold on the touchscreen and have avoided to save costs. My sweet spot is 13-14” screen, under 3 pounds, 4gb ram (don’t use the flash storage), 1080p screen is a plus, and under $200. Newer models have missed my mark, so I’ve bought used ones.

https://zipso.net/chromebook-specs-comparison-table/

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:01 am

munemaker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:50 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:27 pm

But kids should be learning all they can about technology rather than being offered simple solutions. IMO, of course.
How would kids be learning more about technology by using Windows or Mac rather than a Chromebook? :confused Have you ever really used a Chromebook (and I don't mean for a few minutes)?

And if you can use a word processor or spreadsheet, is it really that difficult to move from one to another? During my career, I worked for companies that used Windows and companies that used Macs. Now retired and it is MY money and time, I use a Chromebook. It is not really that difficult to move from one to another.
Hi, thanks for all the comments regarding different operating systems.

As of right now, both kids are comfortable on both Macs and PCs. The chromebook would be a third variant. My laptop is a PC with Windows/Office suite, and Dad's is a Mac, so depending on where kids are, they have to adapt. I have a personal iPhone but bought a refurb Android phone that we use as our home phone, so they are learning those different technologies as well. I would like them to be familiar with all the tech they are likely to run into in school/work.

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:05 am

munemaker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:43 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:19 am
Thanks for all the advice. I am probably going to go with 4GB to start, since the price goes up quite a bit for the 8GB chromebooks. I will try both at Best Buy and open a bunch of tabs to get a sense of the impact.

Again, thanks!!
Happened to see this which may be of some interest to you:

https://www.techradar.com/news/cheap-chromebook-deals
This is wonderful, thank you!!

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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by MnyGrl » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:14 am

LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:07 pm
Bit of a contrarian opinion but I see Chromebook // Kids // Long-Term as a "pick two" scenario.
Agreed. And "technology" and "long-term" would be a "pick-one."

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AlphaPilot
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Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by AlphaPilot » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:14 am

Chromebooks are great for today's general web use. I believe they work great for schools because at school you do not need to do anything extra besides the basics. They are also affordable. And the IT guys like them because at the end of the year they just delete the user profile and it's like starting fresh where as Windows needs a new install & updates. With technology today, a lot of software has been migrated to websites thanks to modern day coding and high speed internet.

However, I would stress that you do not want to dump a lot of money into a machine that is fundamentally the same as a glorified Google Chrome browser. The programs on a chromebooks are extensions of chrome. Thankfully Chrome is a top tier browser and has plenty of extensions. However these kids will not learn anything about Microsoft (or Apple) in this case.

In today's world, we still rely heavily on businesses to use domains, and domains typically run Windows environment Desktop or NUC computers. This is going to the wayside for thin clients which cut costs for the business, but thin clients still tend to favor a Microsoft Environment for the corporate world. Next three years? Chromebook is probably fine. After that? They should probably be dipping their toes into a Mac or Windows environment or they will lose out on a valuable learning experience. If either of them take a nack for the digital world, meaning anything with photography, videography, engineering, design, etc.... A Window or Apple machine will be a good investment to not hinder that thirst. I can see a chromebook hindering those things.

In terms of Ram, yes 4GB is probably plenty. But with today's kids they love video over text, and a tab running with video eats up a lot more memory than say bogleheads.org. Food for thought.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by texasdiver » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:04 am

Teacher here.

I’ve taught at schools that are Mac/IPad oriented and have taught at schools that are Chromebook based. My current school is Chromebook based. All classrooms have carts of Chromebooks for all students. And we also have carts of regular PC laptops in the science department for some online based biomed classes that require a PC platform. My kids schools in a different district issue Chromebooks to all students K-12 and we have bought Chromebooks for our kids.

My opinion? For school, Chromebooks will do everything you ever want. The kids will have google accounts that store their work and access it on any platform they log into, even a Mac. And the google equivalents of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are good enough for anything kids will ever do in school in any normal class. If they get into advanced computer engineering, science, or photo/video editing then obviously not but then the school will be providing the platforms for those courses anyway.

I disagree with those here who think their kids need to be learning advanced MS office apps in school to prepare for the workplace. Kids these days who grow up on screens have no difficulty at all switching platforms. It comes intuitively to them. I watch kids switch from chrome OS to Macs go PCs with very little effort at all. If they know how to make a spreadsheet in Google Sheets they will easily figure out how to do the same in Excel. Obviously Excel is 100x more sophisticated for complex business and science applications. But they will easily figure it out if they need to in business school or grad school some day. There is no reason at all to force your kids to use clunky Microsoft business enterprise software on clunky PC laptops just so they are ready for the work environment 10 years down the road.

As for printing. You basically have two options. If you have a WiFi printer you can set it up as a google cloud printer to print from Chromebooks and other wireless devices like phones. That takes some fussing but there are plenty of online tutorials on how to do it. The other option is to just leave a PC or Mac connected to a USB printer and your kids can bring up their work from their gooogle drive accounts and print it that way. What you can’t do is plug a Chromebook into a USB printer because they don’t have the proper print drivers. Even though Chromebooks have USB ports they don’t work with printers that way.

If you want your kids to be cutting edge, don’t waste your time having them learn MS Office. That is stodgy legacy software. Have him learn something more useful like 3D printing. One of my HS daughter’s best friends is from an Asian American family and her father is a very high powered engineer with Intel. They are the stereotypical Asian “Tiger Parent” family. He has his daughter starting a 3D printing club at school because he thinks that is where technology is going these days. They are doing some crazy cool stuff with 3D printing and the kids are making their own stop action movies using 3D printers just like Laika Studios. That is way more cutting edge than messing around learning how to use MS Word templates or Excel macros.

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Toons
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by Toons » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:21 am

Ditto On Chromebook,,,
Fine choice,,,
Check it out...
Ideal for students,,sturdy..
I am typing on mine now :mrgreen:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DB ... UTF8&psc=1
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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munemaker
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Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by munemaker » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:06 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:04 am
...They are doing some crazy cool stuff with 3D printing and the kids are making their own stop action movies using 3D printers just like Laika Studios.
I knew you can make a lot of things with 3D printers, but I did not know you can use them to make movies.

mptfan
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:58 am

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by mptfan » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:28 pm

munemaker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:31 pm
When these kids grow up, they may well take Gmail, Docs and Sheets into the workplace with them. Maybe these will be the future resume builders and Office could be passe. Who knows?
The future is already here. I use Gmail and Google Docs and Sheets in my office, and when I look to hire new people (usually young people fresh out of school) I prefer candidates who have experience with the Google ecosystem, including Google Drive and Google Docs over MS Word.

bobolinx
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:44 am

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by bobolinx » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:44 pm

Former teacher quick response:
Chromebook should aid in doing homework and uploading assignments for her. If she needs/wants something more sophisticated in high school you haven't lost anything and the younger child can use the chromebook. As a science teacher, I found Google Sheets lacking in sophistication for data analysis and graphing. (Grades 6-12) Yet, it was great for getting everyone's "feet wet" for initial data input and basic statistics. We used Open Office, The Apple Suite, or Microsoft Office exclusively in grades 11-12.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by texasdiver » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:00 pm

munemaker wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:06 pm
texasdiver wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:04 am
...They are doing some crazy cool stuff with 3D printing and the kids are making their own stop action movies using 3D printers just like Laika Studios.
I knew you can make a lot of things with 3D printers, but I did not know you can use them to make movies.
www.digitaltrends.com/movies/laika-cgi- ... o-strings/

ensign_lee
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:03 am

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by ensign_lee » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:06 pm

I just got the Chromebook Flip. It's AMAAAAZING.

Would recommend. Your daughter sounds like a perfect candidate too, since everything she does uses google stuff

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munemaker
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Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Post by munemaker » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:11 pm

mptfan wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:28 pm
munemaker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:31 pm
When these kids grow up, they may well take Gmail, Docs and Sheets into the workplace with them. Maybe these will be the future resume builders and Office could be passe. Who knows?
The future is already here. I use Gmail and Google Docs and Sheets in my office, and when I look to hire new people (usually young people fresh out of school) I prefer candidates who have experience with the Google ecosystem, including Google Drive and Google Docs over MS Word.
Actually, I had forgotten. I know a young IT guy who was involved in implementing the Google Enterprise ecosystem in certain government agencies. So yes, the future is here.

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