Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

My school is moving to Chromebooks. Will the probeware I already own work with a Chromebook?

As schools move to new technology platforms, many teachers have asked us for advice on how to make the most cost effective use of probeware with Chromebooks. Each school is a bit different, and this guide is intended to help teachers navigate some the most common questions.

If you are starting from scratch, the answer is easy: Purchase Go Direct sensors; these will connect directly to Chromebooks by Bluetooth or USB.

If your school is like most, you probably already have at least some probeware. The equipment and how to update it fits into the categories listed here:

SENSORS
The biggest part of a school's investment is usually in the sensors themselves. Good news: most sensors manufactured after the year 2002 are Chromebook-compatible.

Connector type Chromebook Compatible? Notes
2871-gdx.png Yes Go Direct sensors have both USB and Bluetooth built in
2871-bta-connector.gif BTA sensors Yes The sensor needs to connect to the Chromebook though an interface (see below)
2871-btd-connector.gif BTD sensors Yes Same as BTA, but has higher interface requirements
2871-din-connector.gif DIN sensors No Sorry, but even with an adapter, these older sensors can not work with Chromebooks.
2871-go-temp.jpg 2871-go-mot.jpg Go! Sensors Yes Both Go Temp and Go! Motion have USB connectors and can connect directly to Chromebooks.

INTERFACES
For many years, an interface was typically the "big ticket" item when outfitting a science classroom. Most USB interfaces work with Chromebooks.

Interface Chromebook Compatible? Notes
2871-go-link.jpg Go!Link Yes This is the most cost-effective interface for connecting BTA sensors. Not compatible with microphones, photogates, and many physics sensors. See full list of compatible sensors at: TIL 1908: What sensors are not compatible with Go!Link?
2871-labpro.jpg LabPro No Unfortunately, The LabPro cannot work with Chromebooks. LabPro does still work on Windows and Macintosh computers. For many schools, this is the only piece of hardware that needs to be replaced. The most popular option (especially in physics classrooms) is the LabQuest Mini.
2871-gw-link.jpg Go Wireless Link No The Go Wireless Link is not compatible with Chromebooks. Unfortunately, the only “Go Wireless” products that work with Chromebooks are the Go Wireless Heart Rate and Go Wireless Exercise Heart Rate Monitors.
2871-labq.jpg Original LabQuest Yes Many schools have breathed new life into their original LabQuests by using them as a USB interface with Chromebooks. If the battery is depleted, connect it to power and you are all set. You can also get a replacement battery as order code LQ-BAT, $19.
2871-lq-stream.jpg LabQuest Stream Yes LabQuest Stream lets you connect any BTA or BTD sensor via USB or Bluetooth.
2871-lq-mini.jpg LabQuest Mini Yes LabQuest Mini lets you connect any BTA or BTD sensor via USB.
2871-labq2.jpg LabQuest 2 Yes This is the most versatile way to use any Vernier sensor. It connects by USB or WiFi and is the only interface that can broadcast data to multiple Chromebooks at the same time via Data Sharing. More info at: http://www.vernier.com/training/videos/play/?video=222&autoplay=true
Others We made several other interfaces over the years, including ULIs, Serial Boxes, MPLIs and more. Older interfaces that are not pictured here are not compatible with Chromebooks.

Note: Some Chromebooks have USB C ports. All of the compatible USB devices listed above can be connected to USB C ports. We sell USB cables separately. Details are at:
TIL 3822: How do I use a computer or Chromebook with only USB-C ports with Vernier USB products?

SOFTWARE
A lot of people ask us if we have "Logger Pro for Chromebooks". Since there is not a way to convert Mac or Windows software to Chrome, we spent the last few years building (and vastly improving) an all-new program: Graphical Analysis for Chrome. If you saw an early version of this, now is a good time to take a fresh look. We have made many improvements since the first release, and can now perform all of the activities from our core lab books on a Chromebook. Some of the more advanced / specialized features that teachers grew to love in Logger Pro are not yet possible in Chrome, but the list grows shorter with each new version. For more details about what you can't do on a Chromebook (yet), see:
TIL 3455: What are the tradeoffs between Graphical Analysis and Logger Pro?

Graphical Analysis for Chrome is a standalone Chrome app and is available for free in the Chrome web store at:
http://vnr.st/x504

LAB BOOKS
We updated our most popular lab books to include instructions that work with Graphical Analysis for Chrome software. Teachers do not need to re-write the labs for Chromebooks; we have already done that. In fact, if you purchased a copy of any lab book that includes "... with Vernier" in the title, you can get the updated version for free by logging into your Vernier web site account at:
https://www.vernier.com/account

CONCLUSION
We are here to help! We can help you find the best solution for your classroom and budget, including reviewing your school's purchase records from 1997 to now and figure out how to ride the current wave of technology without spending a lot of money. Please don't hesitate to contact us for advice.

RELATED DOCUMENTS
TIL 1961: How can I update to new Vernier equipment and still make use of my old Vernier equipment?
TIL 3693: Please notify me when you have product updates for Chromebooks.

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