What is a Chromebook?

  • Not long ago, if you uttered the word “Chromebook” you would get looked at like you were speaking in Klingon. Not any more. Chromebooks dominated 2014, doubling their shipments and becoming nearly ubiquitous in schools and universities.

    Chromebook is a different breed of computer. It runs on Google’s web-based Chrome OS, which is designed to be used with an Internet connection. Most of Chromebook’s documents and apps exist in the cloud. And Google automatically provides 100 GB of cloud storage for every Chromebook. We get unlimited space with our contracts.

    Chromebook 101

    You can think of a Chromebook as an Internet-dependent laptop that starts up super fast (roughly 7 seconds, or a fraction of the time it takes to boot an older model Windows-based computer). When you turn on the Chromebook you’ll notice the only native app is the Google Chrome Internet browser. And that’s pretty much your key to all that is Chromebook. Everything else is composed of Web apps (email, photos, documents), or apps that run while you’re connected to a network. Google also throws in 100 GB of cloud storage for every Chromebook. The obvious benefits of everything being saved on the Web is that you’ll have access to it from any computer. Plus, if your Chromebook ever bites the dust, you won’t have to worry about losing all your apps, documents, and settings.

    Chromebook Offline

    Our Chromebooks can connect to the Internet with Wi-Fi, but there are times when you simply can’t find a Wi-Fi signal. Fortunately, there are workaround for some of routine tasks. You can still compose and edit with Google Drive Offline. The offline Google apps will automatically sync and save when your computer has an Internet connection. Listed below are the tasks that Chrome OS can manage without Internet connection:

    • Check calendar for appointments
    • Create and edit documents with Google Drive
    • Listen to music (you can store music on Chromebook’s internal hard drive)
    • Note taking with Google Keep (Links to an external site.)
    • Save webpages for offline reading

    Gaming, however, is not really Chromebook’s thing. Due to Chromebooks’ small storage and relatively weak specs, offline gameplay is usually limited to 2D games like Angry Birds.


    Due to the nature of how Chromebooks work, each user will have a "Google Apps" account. These accounts appear to be email accounts, however, the email features are disabled as are Google Hangouts. In order to activate your account (this applies to everyone), you must first change your password in the password manager. You can change your password to the same password but you will need to change your password. 

    The following link will provide all the necessary information to apply for your "Google Apps" account:

    Google Apps Accounts (Links to an external site.)


    Once you have changed your password and logged into your Google account,  you are ready to log into the Chromebook for the first time. 

    Simply click on + Person in the far left hand corner of your shelf. This will pop up a sign in box. Type in your email address and your AD password. You will be logged in. You should always sign out of the Chromebook if you are sharing the device.