When teachers talk about using Chromebooks as student machines, they often lament the lack of multimedia editing tools for student projects (such as the iLife Suite that has for years made Macs an excellent choice for student use and 1:1 programs). Chromebooks, of course, don't have any local applications... just a fast, secure, and feature rich browser... work is created and stored "in the cloud."
Google Docs (now Google Drive) has been an amazing web-based creation and collaboration tool for years, but now that Google Drive is a platform and an ecology of apps is evolving, more and more options are available for the "iLife like" experience on the web. Here are three Google Drive Apps that I shared during the demo slam at the Google in Education Summit yesterday.
Pixlr Editor for editing images (a photoshop analog)While these web-based apps may not be as mature as their harddrive based equivalents... look what is possible on the web today! And imagine what is to come. You might browse the collection Drive Apps in the Chrome Web Store to get a better glimpse of what your browser is now capable of doing. :)
UJAM for creating music (a GarageBand analog)
WeVideo for editing video (an iMovie analog)
Personally, I moved almost completely into the cloud almost two years ago and have never regretted it... it's been amazing too watch how quickly the pace of change in the browser has accelerated, and though I'm no expert in this new breed of online apps, I'm excited about what they mean for the accessibility, usability, and portability of student data, media, and computing/creating/collaborating experiences. Let me know in the comments if you have other favorite Drive Apps... and please share any success stories (or challenges) you might already have experienced personally or with your students.