The arrival of chromebooks on the market has had a dramatic effect on the amount of technology schools can afford to put in student's hands. While laptops and even iPads have their place and are valuable tools, the vast majority of work that students do in schools today is done on the cloud. That means that the chromebook - priced well under $300 - became a very attractive option very quickly for many cash-strapped districts. (Aren't all school districts cash-strapped? Anyway...)
From a teacher's perspective, chromebooks are awesome because you lift the lid and they are on - no wasted time with boot-up. Students log in to google and have an array of tools at their disposal. Districts that have purchased their own Google Apps for Education domain have an email for every student & teacher and access to google doc management tools such as Google Classroom.
So what does this mean - especially when combined with the online testing mandate? A ton of chromebooks flooding our district. It's a good thing. The learning curve is easily climbed - for students AND teachers. Students can access their work on any device anywhere they have an internet connection. Collaboration becomes digital, students create authentic relevant work, students can give and receive feedback digitally - offering up the opportunity to use critical thinking skills when giving feedback and the ability to digitally revise their work based on feedback received. It's a beautiful thing, and I'm just scratching the surface in this post.