Portland high schools, instead of spending $1 million per year to use Mac products, plan on investing in less-expensive Chromebooks. That's a good choice. Just like Macs, however, Chromebooks need some protection. In fact, the devices are fairly solid, but the flexible plastic used in the screens can lead to breakage. Portland has some options to consider when protecting the investment.
Insurance is often bought along with Chromebooks. If Portland goes this route, it may charge parents $25 per year or eat a similar cost. Some large school districts simply believe this is part of the purchase, but $25 per year per device for five years isn't cheap when you consider a breakage rate of only around 10% and an initial cost of around $200 for the Chromebook.
Soft case covers can work. Students hate them and take the devices out when at home or when teachers aren't looking. They impede plugging anything in and make transportation in a backpack less appealing. But they do protect the Chromebooks, which is important.
Most hard case covers aren't worth the hard plastic they're made of. Gummy cases work better, but the cost of over $50 makes the gummy pill hard to swallow. They work, but at a cost.
The Cranium from Educabana will protect Chromebooks in Portland with an innovative and unique design that barely adds any weight, works with any plug-in devices, and also doubles as a handy whiteboard. Chromebook resellers are now adding more rugged covers, but they tend to charge a $50 premium without the added functionality of a whiteboard. Craniums stop screen flex, and that means fewer broken screens. Taxpayers in Maine will appreciate the added value of Chromebook protectors that work and are permanent, meaning the kids can't unsnap or unhook. I throw my Craniummed Chromebook in my backpack all the time without a worry, but you can also spring for a nice padded backpack.
The last option in Chromebook protection is to do nothing. 10% of the devices might break, but fixes are fairly cheap. This option is something to consider if students will not be taking the computers home or if you want to run repair stations that get students experience replacing screens.
We hope Portland makes the right choice in Chromebook protection. If you represent Portland or its taxpaying public, you can find out more about Craniums through our contact page.