How Monkton Combe School embraced hybrid working with Acer chromebooks

November 11, 2021

Monkton Combe School is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 2 to 18, located in the village of Monkton Combe near Bath in Somerset. The school, like many, was forced to adapt rapidly in the face of the global pandemic, which saw its doors close to the majority of students and its lessons shifted from in-person experiences to online-based. Although its doors have now opened, it’s now embracing a hybrid approach to learning, which sees some students working from home while others are back in the classroom. 

The school has been keen to ensure that all of its students were on a level playing field when it comes to interactive learning in order to make the transition to online-based lessons, and back to face-to-face learning, as smooth as possible. Thanks to a partnership with C-Learning, a technology specialist that provides schools and colleges with a range of services and solutions to help teachers and students make the most of technology hosted in the cloud, this wish was granted.

Monkton Combe already had Chromebooks in use throughout the school, and through its partnership with C-Learning, it was able to ensure all of its students were provided with a Chrome OS laptop by rolling out an additional 1-2-1 devices, which meant they all had access to interactive learning materials and lessons throughout the pandemic, no matter where in the country, they were based. 

C-Learning equipped the school and its students with Acer Chromebook 11 N7 laptops, which boast a rugged and durable design perfect for home-based learning, as well as enhanced durability features that ensured little IT maintenance was required. The Chrome OS-based laptop, which Acer designed with schools in mind, also wowed Monkton’s staff and students alike with its innovative 180-degree hinge that allows it to be laid flat for collaboration, its vibrant 11.6-inch display and built-in webcam that made web-based meetings easy, and its impressively long battery life that enabled students to work all day with no additional power required. 

Like the Acer Chromebook N11, Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS operating system has been designed with education and collaboration in mind. By rolling out Chromebook devices to its pupils, Monkton could be confident in the fact that students had access to all of the tools they need thanks to Google’s Workspace for Education suite, which provides instant access to Google Classroom, Google Docs, Gmail and more. The school could also be sure that students were equipped for reaching their full potential; its cloud-based nature means Chrome OS boots faster than Windows-based devices, while its security-first approach ensures all data is secure and safe – so no lost homework! 

By rolling out Chromebooks, Monkton Combe School is also that both its students and teachers are playing their part in living a greener lifestyle, something that has never been more important.  Not only are Chrome OS laptops much more power-efficient than traditional devices, therefore, reducing your carbon footprint, but they also revolve around Google’s cloud services, which require minimal printing. 

James Goodman, Vice Principal, Monkton School, Bath, says the Chromebooks provided by Acer and C-Learning have been “essential” for learning during the pandemic, and have helped the school to move seamlessly between home-learning and face-to-face lessons. 

“With Chromeboxes attached to the interactive boards in classrooms students at home are able to see exactly the same as those in the classroom when we have been working in a hybrid environment. The Chromebooks provide a very targeted device without lots of distractions, and we are able to manage in a bespoke way how every child is able to engage with the technology.

“Using the Chromebooks enabled our students to take part in the online lessons. Our staff and students quickly learnt that the importance of using technology went way beyond posting lessons on Google Classroom – the most important thing was connecting with the children, being available for drop-in support at least daily via Google meets.   

“Having everyone on a level technological playing field made the transition to online learning and then supporting that online learning remotely much easier than it would have been otherwise. All the collaborative features meant that lessons could be far more than just ‘chalk and talk’. The way that everything integrated with each other meant that blended learning, online learning, remote learning and every other format of learning that happened this year was not only possible but very manageable and helpful to the students’ education.”

Monkton Combe was also able to save costs by choosing Chrome OS laptops over the more expensive alternatives, despite offering a souped-up experience when it comes to security, power and efficiency.

“Security is incredibly important within education, we particularly liked that the data encryption within a Chromebook ensures it is a secure device for our learners and educators,” Goodman continued. “ The Chrome OS cloud-based operating system makes the device far more lightweight and requires far less processing power than its Windows counterparts with the average boot time of 8 seconds, allowing you to get straight onto the internet to be as productive as you need to be at a very low price and at a much quicker time-frame.  

“Chromebooks are much more power-efficient than traditional laptops, therefore, reducing your carbon footprint and enabling students to access their work remotely whether they’re in the classroom or at home.”