Upgrading a Cheap Amazon Fire Tablet for School: Frankensteining PC to Chromebook (Part 3)

First of all, thanks to all of you who showed a keen interest in Frankensteining PC to Chromebook and Cloud Printing on Wired Printer. I received many emails and messages from parents who really appreciated how obsolete tech can be re-purposed for the new #learnfromhome pedagogy, while saving hundreds of dollars. It is ironic that I continue to write these blogs on re-purposing old crap because I'm a devout advocate of throwaway technology. However, a major component of the throwaway technology philosophy is to buy tech cheap and not pay premium. i.e. if you paid a thousand dollars for a piece of premium tech for your kid, you wouldn't be reading this blog. My Son in kindergarten has been doing well in using the old $150 Chromebook which was handed down to him by big sister. Although this cheap Lenovo Chromebook has a 180-degree rotating camera, it was not the ideal device for him to record his homework and submit to is teacher on #googleclassroom. Further, he had difficulty interacting with some of the storybooks and exercises using a keyboard/touchpad combo. So, obviously, I had to buy him a tablet...

Frankensteining PC to Chromebook

As we move into the second agonizing month of being stuck at home due to COVID-19, I was glad to see that my daughter's school here in Ontario, Canada was taking the steps to setup online learning via Google Classroom. Why Google Classroom, I don't know but I am guessing it was the natural fit for her classroom EdTech environment built around Chromebooks. However, the joy was short lived when I received an email from the school informing me that my Son, who is in kindergarten at the same school, will also be using Google Classroom for his online learning. Now at this point you might be wondering why my joy was short lived when both kids are due to continue their schoolwork from home - it was because I only had one Chromebook at home which now needed to be shared between a kindergartner and a fourth-grader (only parents with more than one kid will get it).