Google wants students in school to repair their own Chromebooks
Chromebooks have become more and more popular in classrooms over the past decade, thanks to to their low costs and easy central management. Some models are also intended to be easy to repair by IT workers, so a cracked screen or dead touchpad doesn’t always mean mailing it off to the manufacturer. Google announced a new initiative today that aims for schools to teach students to repair devices themselves.
Google said in a blog post on Thursday (via The Verge), “Some Chromebook manufacturers, like Acer, provide training for schools to perform their own repairs. So, many schools have already created Chromebook repair programs, working alongside teachers and IT teams to repair their devices (shout-out to some of our favorite names, like “Chromestop” and “Chrome Depot”). Some even offer Chromebook repair as an elective course. In-school programs like these are not only eco-friendly, they can significantly reduce turnaround time, save on costs and help students learn valuable skills.”
Based on existing in-school programs, Google is creating educational resources for schools to operate their own Chromebook repair programs as courses or elective classes. The company hopes the initiative can be a learning experience for students perusing a career in IT or other similar industries. However, self-repair could void warranties on some Chromebooks, so a school’s ability to create a student-run repair program would likely depend on which Chromebooks the school is using.
The announcement also included a few details from studies conducted by Google, which make the case that Chromebooks are more environmentally friendly than traditional PCs. That’s a bit of a stretch, considering all Chrome OS devices still have fixed lifetimes (8 years for the latest models) and cannot be easily switched to other operating systems after that date, unlike traditional PCs.
Microsoft also just released the Surface Laptop SE, a budget Windows laptop aimed at schools that focuses on repairability.