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Question: What is a Chromebook?

 

A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows 10 or macOS, Chromebooks run Google's Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud.

 

Question: What do I need to do about viruses?

 

Nothing! The beauty of Chromebooks is that they are immune to viruses.

 

Can I load programs?

 

Well, kind of. Chromebooks don't run programs that are native to Windows or Mac, but you can add Chrome apps and extensions through the Chrome Webstore that do lots of things. But just by logging into your Google (Gmail) account you will already have access to the Google Suite of apps Listed in the next question and answer. 

 

What applications come with a Chromebook?

 

The complete suite of Google apps are available and include:

  • Google Docs (word processor)

  • Google Sheets (spreadsheet)

  • Google Slides (presentation software)

  • Google Calendar 

  • Google Drawings 

  • Google Classroom (the main program used in our school for assignments and teacher/student communication.

 

Can I open Word or Excel files?

 

Absolutely! Just go to the Chrome webstore and load this extension. You can also save a Google Doc in Word format or a Google spreadsheet in Excel format.

Can I work on my Chromebook offline (without Internet access)?

Yes, you can. The Google suite of apps will function even without Internet access and any changes you make to a document will be saved right on your machine. Then, the next time you connect online your Chromebook will synchronize to the Cloud. However, in order to see your class information on Google Classroom you will need to be online. (But that would be the case even on a Windows or Mac computer.)

What can I do to protect my student against online dangers?

We know you want to keep your student as safe as possible, so we would like to recommend you take the following steps:

  • Encourage your child to keep this device in a family area of the home, and not to take it into a room where they are alone.

  • We encourage you as the parent to access your child’s Chromebook occasionally.

  • We strongly advise that you consider loading some kind of accountability software on this device so you can monitor its usage. We recommend Accountable2You software which can be found by clicking here. There you can read about what the software can do and set up an account for your family. Please note there is a cost, but we believe it is well worth it to maintain your child’s safety. Because your child is using a Chromebook you will need to read about how to install and set up the software on the Chrome OS platform. For that information click here.

Below are some more helpful links...

What is Chrome OS??