Philly’s Science Leadership Academy Dumps Macs for Chromebooks

And the nation takes notice.

Education Week takes notice that Philly’s acclaimed Science Leadership Academy has dumped its Mac laptops for new Chromebooks that cost about a third as much. The new Dell Chromebook 11 was just announced to the world today.

Christopher Lehmann, SLA’s principal and the recipient of a new grant from Dell to fund the adoption of Chromebooks, argues that the $300-dollar devices are a potential game-changer for schools, providing 90 percent of the functionality of traditional laptops at one-fourth the price.

“I really think Chromebooks have the potential to revolutionize the way schools are thinking about technology,” Lehmann said. “There is no more financial argument to be made about why a district can’t go 1-to-1.”*

Similarly heady projections have accompanied any number of other ed-tech product releases in recent years—many of which have been accompanied by troubled rollouts. But people in the ed-tech world are likely to pay close attention to such proclamations from Lehmann, who was recently named the nation’s “outstanding leader” by the International Society for Technology in Education,

*1-to-1 is education jargon meaning, essentially, every kid gets their own computer, provided by the school.

Chromebooks are different from most laptops in that they don’t really have a hard drive of their own to save anything—instead your documents, pictures, and all the apps you run are in the “cloud.” SLA is distributing 250 of the Chromebooks to its freshmen classes this year.