Nov 06 2017
Digital Workspace

4 Ways Apps Help Users Get the Most Out of Chromebooks

Google-centric apps, in creative and active listening packages, prepare students for the future while keeping them flexible and mobile.

Times have changed. Today, many organizations have lost their fear of the cloud, and Chromebooks, thanks to their ease of management, low total cost of ownership and plentiful apps, have become a no-brainer for K–12 school districts that opt to go one-to-one by issuing each student a device.

Initially, people believed Chromebooks were good for surfing the internet and little else, but that mindset has been shown to be incorrect. Students are using Chromebooks — 20 million in schools nationwide — and G Suite for Education, Google’s popular education cloud platform which boasts 70 million users, for a large part of their learning.

And schools are reaping the benefits, from increased engagement to more collaboration in classrooms.

Chromebooks have much more than a web browser to offer. In fact, CDW•G has worked with Google to offer app bundles to get more out of these popular devices. These bundles include creative apps (WeVideo, Soundtrap, Explain Everything) and active listening apps (Fluency Tutor, Listenwise).

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1. Creative Apps Give Students Skills for the Future

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has identified the “four Cs” — critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity — as the most important skills required in education. Theses app bundles were curated by and for teachers with a focus on fostering these skills of the future.

The creative apps allow for deeper learning opportunities as students become the creators. Listening skills are key to overall literacy. Fluency Tutor is a time-saver in the classroom for teachers while allowing students more time to practice at their own pace.

Listenwise, which features NPR content, teaches listening comprehension while connecting students to the world around them. Students will be well on their way to mastering the critical thinking and communication portion of the four Cs.

2. App Bundles Build a Mobile Learning Environment

Chromebooks and these app bundles enable a mobile environment for students. Schools can close expensive labs and make it possible for students to work and learn from anywhere in the school or at home.

The collaboration portion of the four Cs is evident, as students can work together on the same audio or video project. This puts students and teachers into the modern world of online collaboration.

3. Google Admin Console Offers Flexibility to the IT Staff

These apps make it easier for a school’s IT staff, too, because they sync with the Google Admin console, and the experience is seamless on a Chromebook.

Apps can be assigned by group or organizational unit and can be reassigned and revoked as needed.

4. Cloud-Based Learning Enhances Security

With the move to the cloud, it is essential to protect student data privacy. All the apps included in the bundles are compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). WeVideo and Soundtrap take it a step further by creating a “walled garden” (closed platform) where students can share audio and video projects with each other, but not publicly on the internet.

To learn more about how to get more out of Chromebooks, please reach out to your CDW•G account manager.

This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #ConnectIT hashtag.

[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology
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