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How to save on technology costs while providing hands-on learning? Teach students to repair their own devices. Google is promoting repairability as a key feature of Chromebooks for schools, and encouraging educators to set up their own repair programs.
The benefits are clear: having an in-house repair shop reduces turnaround time, saves schools money, prevents devices from being discarded prematurely, and teaches children valuable tech skills.
Some schools have already set up their own programs and offer Chromebook repair as elective courses. For others, Google has created a brief playbook on how to get started. It also outlines which components of which models can be fixed, and includes links to manufacturers' maintenance manuals. Acer and other Chromebook manufacturers also provide training for schools, working with teachers and IT staff.
The right to repair movement continues to pick up pace: in the US, legislation was just introduced to defend consumers' rights to have their cars and electronic devices serviced by independent outlets. Meanwhile, the European Commission has committed to having a legislative proposal for right to repair ready by Q3 2022.
Whether for reasons of sustainability or to protect consumer rights and wallets, the message is clear: products need to last longer. And when they break down, it should be easier and cheaper to repair them.
With 50 million students and educators worldwide currently using Chromebooks, Google's work to promote self-repairs could have a significant impact. Who's next...?
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