When my son started 7th grade on July 22, he went back to school with a brand new Google Chromebook by Samsung. This was an early 12th birthday present for him; he used a Netbook last year but it was cumbersome trying to share documents with teachers and at home. There was also the problem with misplaced thumb drives with important notes. The Chromebook and the accompanying subscription to Google Drive solve those problems and I can honestly say that Google Drive makes homework easier.
- The Chromebook runs on Chrome and is designed to be a cloud-based computing device.
- There is no Microsoft Office for the Chromebook, instead, he creates documents, spreadsheets and the like using his Google Drive account.
- The documents are saved in real-time while connected to a Wi-Fi network but as an added bonus, the Chromebook also works offline. Documents are synced once he connects to the Internet
We have setup my son’s Google Drive account so that it is organized by class and each of the class folders is shared with both my Google account as well as my husband’s account. If my son works on something at school, both my husband and I can access the document real-time. This is convenient, especially when I’m trying to plan out the evening’s activities. For example, if I see he has a heavy homework day we’ll move the trip to the store back to another day.
Another reason I love using Google Drive for homework is that he can share a classroom or homework assignment with his teacher. There’s no need to dig out the flash drive, copy the document over, hand it to the teacher, wait for the teacher to copy the document and then put the thumb drive back in his backpack. Although he’s a 7th grader, the more steps involved in a process, the more likely he’s going to miss a step.
If you’re considering a laptop for your child to use in school this year, I recommend the Chromebook. If you’re interested in something with more functionality, definitely give Google Drive a try – it’s already a winner for us and we’re only two weeks into the 2013 – 2014 school year.