Mobile Computing

Alabama District Beefs up Tech with Chromebooks, iPad Minis

Alabama's Shelby County Schools are adopting Chromebooks and iPads in an effort to beef up technology options after upgrading its computer labs last year.

The 31-school district will provide 30 iPad Minis to each school with grades K-3 and 30 14-inch Chromebooks to all other schools. In total, the project comprises 140 iPads and 713 Chromebooks for a total cost of approximately $280,000.

Chromebooks were chosen for schools with older students to give them opportunities to work on keyboards and because they were more popular among students and staff than other laptops or notebooks.

"The feedback has been overwhelming," said Susan Poling, district technology coordinator, in a story about the initiative for the Shelby County Reporter. "Our students and teachers like the Chromebooks better because they start up faster, hold battery life longer, are lighter weight, and let every student easily log into their account."

The district is also upgrading its wireless network in an effort to better support the new devices in classrooms.

Shelby County Schools serves approximately 20,000 students at 15 elementary and intermediate schools and 13 middle and high schools. More information about the district is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].