Acer R11 Chromebook Case Study
Flipping Learning with the Acer R11 Chromebook
Education technology means nothing if it isn’t userfriendly. And the Acer R11 Chromebook with Intel Celeron processor bends over backwards to further learning: literally. With its 360° hinge, the Acer R11 locks in place when you tap, swipe and pinch on the touchscreen, becoming the ultimate convertible.
A Tale of Two Schools
With this in mind, Intel Education gave away several Acer R11 Chromebooks with Intel Celeron processors to schools across the country. We were amazed at the resourceful ways educators were using the devices to instill 21st century skills within their classrooms.
Clinton Public School District
Jason Bengs is the technology director for the Clinton Public School District in Clinton, Oklahoma. His role requires managing site technicians, assisting them with any questions they might have, ordering equipment and supplies, managing E-Rate applications, and setting up or managing devices on the district’s mobile device manager.
Clinton is in a rural area with a staff of 300 serving roughly 2,300 students. The student population is about 40% Hispanic, 40% Caucasian, 10% Native American, 7% African-American and 3% other. The district also has about 80% of students on the free/reduced lunch program with a 17:1 teacher-to-student ratio, and an 87% graduation rate.
“The district’s challenges center around our diversity and— even more than that—our high poverty rate,” says Bengs.
The Clinton Public School District has fiber connecting their buildings with a speed of 1GB up and down, with outside connections running at a speed of 500MB up and down. While they have wireless access points throughout all of their campuses, the district needs to beef up connections in a few areas.
Clinton is a Google Apps for Education district and it has worked well in their environment. They have also used it with online classes and document management. Devices such as the Acer R11 Chromebook capture the full capabilities of Google Apps to make learning more engaging.
“The Acer Chromebook has joined our collection of other Chromebook devices so that teachers can seamlessly use Google classroom for their assignments,” explains Bengs. “The Acer R11 is the next evolution of Chromebooks, making them powerful tools that are easy to use in education because they do not have as many apps and other distractions.”
In addition to power and ease-of-use, another draw for Bengs is the fact that the Acer R11 Chromebook is so affordable.
“Chromebooks in general are low-cost and can be used to accomplish many of the same tasks a PC or Mac might be used for,” says Bengs. “I would encourage many schools still looking to find a 1:1 solution to go this route.”
J.A. Rogers Elementary
J.A. Rogers Elementary is a large, diverse K-6 urban public school serving over 700 students in the east Kansas City area. Roughly 62% of students are ELL (mainly Spanish as their first language) with five ELL teachers and four ELL paraprofessionals. The school has 30 regular education classrooms and three self-contained essential skills/ exceptional education classrooms.
Ms. Margaret (Peggy) Everist is a fourth grade classroom teacher at J.A. Rogers Elementary celebrating her 30th year of teaching in the Kansas City Missouri Public School system. She normally arrives early and stays late every day, with a typical day including ELA/Social Studies, writing, and science in the morning with math and special subjects in the afternoon.
“Some unique challenges that our school faces include a transient student population that may switch schools multiple times in a school year and parents that do not speak English and are unable to help or support their child in their school work,” says Everist. “We have many students that have been exposed to trauma, and as a result, we are a trauma-sensitive school and staff members have received training on how to support a child that has been exposed to severe trauma. Many of the basic needs—food, clothing, shelter and love—are not being met and our school team works hard to help support these basic needs.”
Everist was delighted to win an Acer R11 Chromebook and eager to put it to use in her classroom.
“I have been using my Acer Chromebook in lesson planning, to show videos and to support my small group instruction,” says Everist. “The portability and flexibility of the device makes it great to use with small groups!”
Everist has been using the device to make the most of Google for Education apps so that she can make learning a more dynamic experience, not only for her students, but for her and her fellow educators as well.
“There are many applications that I believe will be beneficial for education,” says Everist. “The ease of use, and the ability to have everything connected to Google Drive makes the Acer Chromebook a universal tool: and you don’t need to use a flash drive! I think the fact that they are lightweight, web-based and teacher-friendly also makes them a great resource for teachers and students. I am still learning the many features of the Chromebook and want to have some cool things under my sleeve. Teachers love to have little technology tricks to impress the students!”
Acer R11 Chromebook Specs
Display: 11.6-inch 1366x768 IPS
Processor: Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core 1.6GHz
Memory: 2/4GB DDR3L
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4, microSD card
Battery: 3-cell Lithium-ion, 3220 mAh 9.5 hours estimated battery life
Camera: HD web cam (1280x720)
Dimensions: 294.6 x 203.2 x 19.2 mm
Weight: 2.76 lb