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Christmas Bargain for Teachers: Google Teams Up With Donor to Offer $99 Chromebooks

Sites include , . Published on December 13th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

Google’s Chromebook is becoming quite a seller due to its affordability and sleek functionality but this hasn’t stopped the search giant from waiving a bit of profits for a good cause. Teaming up with DonorsChoose.org, the software giant is making the Chromebook available at the knock-down price of $99 to teachers. The partnership will see teachers getting their hands on the Samsung Series 5 at a steep discount of $300 but there is a catch.

Must be a public school teacher

Many will see the offer but not all will be eligible (as with most things of this sort) and to qualify a teacher needs to be a part of the Public school system, a U.S. resident and must take advantage of the price by December 21, 2012. Access to the $99 Chromebook can only be gained via DonorChoose.org and teachers must setup what is being called a “funding goal.” Teachers will get their computers not directly from DonorsChoose but from Lake Shore Learning, a supplier of school supplies.

The offer isn’t very straightforward you might notice but with so much being saved on what is effectively the price of a solid low-end laptop, many U.S. teachers will be happy to jump through the hoops. According to DonorsChoose About Us page, the mechanics of its system works something like this: “DonorsChoose.org makes it easy to help classrooms in need. Public school teachers post classroom project requests which range from pencils for poetry to microscopes for mitochondria.”

Google’s philanthropic aim

The Chromebook is being tipped as the most economical device for reading emails and surfing the web without a hefty price tag and Google seems proud indeed of making it available. Its sleek and functional design has made it a hit among school administrators and the Samsung Series 5 is presently the most widely deployed Chromebook in schools. Google’s aim with this offer is to help many of the cash-strapped public schools in America who are struggling to bring IT integration into the classroom.

Google seems to be leveraging the partnership with DonorsChoose to highlight the malware fighting capabilities of the Chromebook and the search giant wasn’t ashamed to plug this feature in a thank you note to all participants. Google said rather cheekily in its statement: “Thank you for your support in giving the gift of hassle-free technology to teachers and students. Working together, we can ensure “The virus ate my homework” is never uttered in a classroom again, and we can help classrooms get off to a strong start in the New Year!”

By the time this little initiative has run its course, Google should have succeeded in making the Chromebook more appealing to mainstream consumers. It is already competing in  a tight spot where many low-end laptops that do a lot more than allow for surfing and reading emails, and cost around $300 to boot. It is therefore going to take some convincing to get consumers to buy the Samsung Series 5 for $399.

Do you think Google’s Chromebook offering is competitive for the features that it comes with? Share your thoughts below.

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