Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Google Starts Chromebook Lending Library

Google already considers its Chromebook a low-cost laptop alternative for the classroom. Now, the company is taking that a step further, creating a notebook Lending Library that will provide students free access to a device whenever they happen to need it.

The online giant is placing a café-style kiosk at 12 U.S. colleges and universities for three days in the initial phase of the Lending Library project, which will run through October. Devices are available at the kiosk on a first-come, first-served basis and can be kept for the duration of its stay on the campus. Students will be charged for the devices if they are not returned on time.

“The Lending Library is a bit like your traditional library, but instead of books, we’re letting students borrow Chromebooks [no library cards needed],” Lindsay Rumer of the Chrome marketing team told Digital Trends. “Students can use a Chromebook during the week for life on campus—whether it’s in class, during an all-nighter, or browsing the Internet in their dorm.”

The operating system is cloud-based, allowing students to switch back and forth between devices with a Google account, username, and password. It also is a way for students to become more familiar using the Google operating system and devices and possibly become more dedicated Google customers, according to the Digital Trends report.

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