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Half of all classroom computers are now Chromebooks

If you think no one uses Google Chromebooks, you don’t clearly spend a lot of time in K-12 schools.

CNBC is reporting that Chromebooks make up over half of devices used in U.S. classrooms, beating out Apple’s iPad and a wide range of Windows PCs to utterly dominate the education market. It’s particularly impressive when you consider that, just a couple of years ago, Chromebooks made up less than 1 percent of all such devices.

We’ve talked about the extent to which Google dominates education before, but the rate of growth is staggering. By some estimates 30,000 devices are deployed in U.S. classrooms every day, expanding the education market for computers and taking up most of that growth.

“It’s been amazing to us to see that growth happen just in that short amount of time,” said Google’s Rajen Sheth, head of the ChromeOS for business team. “If you look at the overall market for devices in education, it’s actually expanded a lot and Chromebooks have actually taken a lot of the expansion.”

There’s a lot of reasons Chromebooks make sense for the classroom. They’re affordable, which is important for school budgets. They’re also interchangable: students can switch from one Chromebook to another and all of their cloud-based files and settings follow them, meaning if one computer needs repairs students can switch to another.

At a time when laptop sales are falling overall, there aren’t many sectors where sales are going up. Education is one of them, and Google’s ChromeOS is dominating it.

Google’s not the only company to target education: Apple made a name for itself in this sector in the 80’s and 90’s, which is why if you went to school then there’s a good chance you have childhood memories of playing Oregon Trail on one of their computers. Maybe you even bought an Apple product later in life.

Which makes us wonder: ChromeOS might not be big in the consumer market right now, but could a generation of students getting used to the cloud-based OS change that?