Google: 500 U.S., European school districts use Chromebooks

Google says more than 500 U.S. and E.U. school districts are using Chromebooks.

Google has said that more than 500 school districts in the United States and Europe are using Chromebooks, and has just added three more school districts into the mix.

The search giant has been able to make a sudden push towards the education market after its hardware and operating system were certified by guidelines set by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia.

While it's a push, the figures are not expected to keep Windows or OS X out of schools, let alone traditional OEM-supplied hardware.

Google says: "in schools, all you need is web,” seemingly ignoring the fact that quality developed applications are still necessary in the school environment.

(Tell that to a teacher in a class showing off creative and educational content on the new iPad.)

Last month, Google announced new Chromebook devices, a major software update, along with a simplified pricing model. Its "zero-touch deployment" enables administrators to remotely set up Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, manage users and user policies --- all from a simple-to-use Web interface.

But Chromebooks remain a niche product, at least for business. For schools, because of the centralised and always-on connectivity, it's certainly a far cheaper alternative than Windows-running laptops that cost more to run. Plus, Chromebooks are virtually immune to malware.

It means kids can take the Chromebooks home and work (or spend their time on Facebook) --- or wait, they can't even do that, because the remote management settings allows administrators to flick off the magic Facebook switch.

There's always hope that Google I/O may throw something interesting into the mix, when Google's executives take to the stage this week.

Image credit: CNET.

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