Chromebooks take share from iPad use in K-12 classrooms


Technology – and more specifically, the use of Chromebooks – is gaining a growing presence in schoolrooms across the United States, according to a new survey of 2,500 K-12 teachers.

The survey, conducted by Front Row Education, found 60 percent of teachers report that they have access to Chromebooks for their classroom work, up 15 percent over the past year.

Access to iPads also remains high, with 64 percent of teachers saying they are able to use iPads in their classrooms, but that figure was down 5 percent from the prior year, the study found.

The study also found that the use of iPads and Chromebooks is diverging.

Teachers of younger students (Kindergarten through 2nd grade) reported using iPads more than Chromebooks (75 percent vs. 54 percent) while those teaching students in 6th through 8th grades favored Chromebooks over iPads (66 percent vs. 51 percent).

The growing access to digital devices in the classroom overall, however, is helping to drive the broader use of technology in schools, the study concluded.

Three in four teachers in the study reported using technology daily with their students – with three in five teachers indicating their use of technology will increase during the 2016-2017 school year.

The largest factor driving the rise in technology use in the classroom is the increased access to devices, the study said.

More than 50 percent of teachers in the study said they now have a 1:1 student-to-device ratio, up nearly 10 percentage points over last year.

The relatively lower cost of Chromebooks, compared to traditional laptops, and increasing broadband access at most U.S. schools, have helped propel the availability of devices.

But the study also noted that teachers reported seeing positive results using technology with their students.

Front Row Education, which provides adaptive learning materials, said the factors teachers felt were most important in choosing educational software programs were how well they advanced a student’s learning and how easily it helped teachers gauge students’ progress.