Learning Devices

Google Introduces Chromebook Repair Hub for U.S. Schools, Self-Repair Guides for Acer and Lenovo Models

Goal is to 'Create More Sustainable Device Ecosystem,' Google Says

With 50 million Chromebooks now in use in schools, Google today introduced a new Chromebook repair program for U.S. education users of the Acer- and Lenovo-made models, with a new website providing self-service repair guides for each model.

Citing a goal to create a “more sustainable device ecosystem,” Google said it will work with schools to make it easier to find information about which Chromebook devices or device components school IT administrators are allowed to repair without voiding any warranty, where to find the right tools and replacement parts, and learn how to conduct the repairs.

“This is just the first step” of the Chromebook repair program, Google said in the announcement on its Education blog. Google also detailed new updates to Chrome Enterprise, with new release notes for administrators managing Chrome browsers or Chrome OS devices for schools.

Also Thursday, Google introduced a “Chromebook discovery” website for education users that makes finding and comparing varying Chromebook models easier; Google also noted the recent release of several new Chromebook models for students and teachers, including four from Acer detailed recently on THEJournal.com, plus new models from HP, ASUS, Dell, and Samsung.

Before attempting to repair a Chromebook, Google said to first make sure the manufacturer allows self-repairs. If the device is made by Acer or Lenovo, the manufacturer has already uploaded to Google’s Chromebook repair hub a list of repairable components for each model as well as a full repair guide for each model.

Google said it is working with manufacturers to establish which Chromebook models “meet our repairability criteria” and hopes to expand the self-repair program in the near future; the repair hub lists some components that “may be locally repairable” including display back panel, LCD display and display bezels, palm rest and touchpad, keyboard, motherboard, battery, and more.

With the Chromebook repair program now accessible to all schools, Google is encouraging school districts to start their own repair program — offering a downloadable guide to creating an in-school repair practice for simple issues — and noted that some schools’s established repair programs even include students, allowing them to work alongside teachers and IT teams to fix their devices.

One such example showcased by Google is Jenks Public Schools’ Technology Student Intern program in Jenks, Okla., a district with 10 campuses and about 12,400 students. The TSI program is staffed by students, who gain “valuable career training in customer service and IT help desk skills,” Google’s case study said.

“The result: significant cost savings for the district, fast turnaround time for Chromebook repairs, and graduates who can land jobs in the IT field,” Google said. The case study details how Jenks Public Schools set up the TSI program in 2012, requirements for students to participate, how students are trained and progress into increasingly complex repair work, and how the program has grown into a permanent elective offering certification in IT fundamentals.

Find more information about Chromebooks, the newest upgrades, and support programs on Google’s Education website.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].