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Google Giving Schools In India Free Chromebooks

education-tileGoogle are expanding an educational pilot programme to India next month, offering 25 free Chromebooks to four schools.

Google will be giving four schools – three government and one private – in Andhra Pradesh 25 Chromebooks for use in grades 9 and 10. Instructors will be trained in the use of the company’s suite of Google Apps for Education.

The programme is being run in conjunction with Andhra Pradesh’s IT department, which is currently engaging in discussions to extend the programme to the entire state. As part of the initiative, the department will be providing 1Mbps WiFi connections to schools and backup power to keep students connected through any hiccups.

Google’s pilot programme currently spans several thousand schools in the US, Singapore, and Malaysia. Its arrival in India isn’t too surprising either as Chromebooks from Samsung, Acer, and HP have started making their way to the country.

Chromebooks have been a growing presence in the education market for some time.

Chromebooks have been a growing presence in the education market for some time, and several schools in the United States have undertaken pilot programmes in recent months as Google’s Chrome OS continues to mature and more manufacturers jump on board.

For example, the Sudbury Public Schools system in Sudbury, Massachusetts began their pilot programme in September. In their original proposal the school system cited budget constraint, Google Apps, student account management, cloud storage, and the proliferation of web-based tools as advantages for investing in Chromebooks rather than iPads.

The school system also cited the lack of a touchscreen and the need for “web-based” applications as disadvantages, though both of these are addressed by Acer’s introduction of the more budget friendly touchscreen C720P and offline-capable Chrome Apps respectively.

If the successes from other countries undertaking the pilot programme can be repeated, Google’s educational initiative in India will no doubt be a good sign for manufacturers looking to expand availability and for Chrome OS fans in the country of over 1.2 billion people.

Learn More about Chromebooks in Education

  • Really great move to popularise the Chromebook brand here. Hope it soon comes to my School also! I have a feeling that Chromebooks’re priced a lot higher because of that people’re avoiding it and getting a Windows lappy at that price range. It should have been under 20k :/

  • Archisman Panigrahi

    The problem is that the population of India is too huge for projects like OLPC and these to achieve success.

    • Topgun22x

      A journey of a 1000 miles starts with a step. That’s the way this program started even in the US.

  • Jowell

    I think that’s a great idea even though they’re not too many Chromebooks to offer but there are Chromebooks at least in school and kids will learn more and expand there education. I don’t look at the negative way I look at the possible way because at least Google is helping kids to have a better education for tomorrow. can somebody tell me when was the last time Microsoft help kids for a better future by giving computer?

  • Yvan Philogène

    It remains pure business though :).

  • The only real problem is that the internet infrastructure in India is way too weak to support the always cloud based OS like Chrome OS.

    The Internet speeds are the main problem for the adaption of Chromebooks.

    In most of the cities, there is only one real nationwide ISP which is BSNL and owned by Government (hence the poor services) which offers unlimited Internet without data caps and that too at a very slow speed of 1Mbps upto 6GB and 0.5Mbps thereafter.

    Also there are almost no free Wifi zones in India, the Internet costs are way too much for anyone to share their connection for free. So, no Internet on the go.

    On 3G side, there are no unlimited uncapped Internet and the maximum any company offers on 3G is about 10-20 GB for an extreme price. Also 3G speeds are not very good here. About 2Mbps at most.

    So, uploading and downloading data at that speeds would be awful. I am using that Internet and uploading a 2GB music library collection of Music is a pain in the ass.

    If Google really wants to make Chromebooks popular in India, then they would have to first improve the Internet Infrastructure. Everyone just keeps on improving the Internet of the Metro cities which is already better when compared to the rest of the India, no one even cares to come to the developing cities. So, without a at least stable Internet, there is no way people can make use of Chromebooks as their only device. Even if Google could provide stable 2-4 Mbps Internet in India, preferably via wireless, then that would be a breakthrough and I personally would not have problem getting a Chromebook myself.

    But as for now, the Internet conditions in India just doesn’t allow for Chromebooks, it is a fact.