Google wants to teach students to repair Chromebooks

Close-up of a Chromebook which is closed
(Image credit: Konstantin Savusia / Shutterstock)

Chromebooks are seriously popular in the education world, and Google has just revealed a fresh initiative which aims to get students involved in repairing the laptops over in the US.

The Chromebook Self-Repair Program for schools encourages simple repairs to be made by students, and Google provides a bunch of help in terms of setting up such an in-school scheme, as Ars Technica spotted.

That includes guides to show which Chromebooks have commonly repaired components – for example, the keyboard or display – and instructions on how to safely replace or repair these parts (and also what tools are required).

Acer and Lenovo currently have nine Chromebooks between them with manufacturer repair guides like these, with the idea being to expand this content going forward.

In a PDF, Google also outlines the basics of ‘best practice’ for an in-school Chromebook repair service, advising that a dedicated space should be set up for students to work on repairs, including a front desk for customers to visit with their problematic hardware, repair benches, and storage facilities for the various required components and replacement parts.

Naturally, students engaged in repair work must complete the required training first, and more info on ‘self-maintainer training’ can be obtained from involved Chromebook makers (namely Acer and Lenovo).

Analysis: Pushing forward with sustainability and IT skills

This scheme is good news from a sustainability point of view – the more Chromebooks that can be got back into action, rather than thrown out, the better, of course – although as you might imagine, the scope of the repair work is limited. Students won’t be getting soldering irons out or anything like that, merely taking things apart and using a screwdriver.

Still, this is undeniably helpful in developing some useful and practical IT skills, and to better understand how laptops tick. As James Vick of Acer (VP, Customer Service in the US) puts it: “On campus repair programs enable students to help their own school by conducting safe and rapid repairs of Chromebooks, while also teaching them a valuable transferable skill that can help them pursue a career in the IT field.”

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).