The number of touch-screen Chromebook models available for purchase has dramatically increased over the past three years. Today, nearly every model has a touch-screen variant.
Should you purchase touchscreen Chromebooks for your district? Is it worth the extra cost?
Here are the questions you should be asking.
Adding touch to a device will add $30-50 to the base purchase price of most Chromebooks.
|HP Chromebook 11 G7||$175||$206||$31|
*Prices listed are from a Michigan statewide bid program and will vary regionally.
The purchase cost of a touch screen is the visible cost. The invisible cost is the price of repairing a broken screen. This is where you can see the greatest impact on your budget.
A replacement touchscreen will cost between $100-$200 which is equal to 30-50% of the original device purchase price. Make sure you factor this into your technology budget. You may also want to consider an extended warranty or damage protection to protect your investment.
🎙️ On the podcast: Eric Griffith has been repairing his district Chromebooks for years. Listen to his tips and suggestions for keep your Chromebook fleet in top condition.
There are two different types of touchscreen panels:
Most classroom activities can get by with a capacitive touch screen. If you are purchasing Chromebooks for an art class, want to do sketching and drawing, or are giving them to your English teachers so that they can mark work digitally, you should be looking for an active touch device.
This is a helpful article on Capactive vs. Active touch devices.
Figuring out which type of touchscreen is offered in the Chromebook you are reviewing can be very difficult. This level of detail is generally not included in the spec sheet provided on the manufacturer website.
You will likely need to reach out to the manufacturer or request a review model to determine the quality of the touch panel in your device.
Is a touch screen worth this additional expense? Let’s tackle that next.
Before you spend district resources on touchscreen Chromebooks, you should make sure that you are going to use the value that touch provides.
The biggest ChromeOS development of the past three years is the opportunity to access Android apps on a Chromebook.
The Android ecosystem is a native touch-screen environment. Using an Android app on a non-touch device is weird and not very fun.
🎙️ On the podcast: Listen to my conversation with Tom Mullaney to learn more about using Android apps in the classroom.
Android on Chrome has a lot of potential for creative applications. Touch is an essential element of this equation.
Have you looked into deploying Android apps to your Chromebook fleet? This is an essential consideration before you purchase touchscreen Chromebooks.
I am always in favor of providing teachers with instructional tools they can use in their classrooms.
Here are a few quick ways that a touchscreen Chromebook can support learning:
👀 Looking for more lesson ideas? check out my Chromebook lesson library!
Touch is the future of computing. Within the next 5 years, all devices will come standard with touch.
Adding a touchscreen to your Chromebooks will increase the total cost of ownership, but does open up additional learning opportunities.
You need to decide if NOW is the time to bring touch screens into your district or if you want to WAIT until your next device refresh.
Is it worth the cost? Maybe.
If you aren’t ready to embrace the world of touch-optimized tools and apps, then it’s not worth the cost.
If you aren’t prepared to introduce Android apps to your Chromebooks, you might want to hold off on purchasing touch screen devices.
If you want to expand the tools your teachers and students can access, touch is a great choice!
Download a free chapter of my book, The Chromebook Classroom!