Here are some questions I was asked by a teacher who is looking into buying Chromebooks. I am no expert but learning loads about them at the moment so will update this article as I learn more.
Are Chromebooks easy to administer? ( I worked in IT for about 10 years, and have pretty ok knowledge of Windows Active Directory)
Yes and no. If you are familiar with Active Directory, you’ll understand that 🙂 The Admin of G Suite is really well supported by Google so most things can be done easily enough. Like Active Directory, there are things that should be easy to do but aren’t. However, for the most basic of things, it’s fairly straightforward.
Do you need to buy extra software (g suite? or similar) to lock them down / push applications to them?
No – everything can be done using the admin. Having said that, I’m thinking of going down the line of a 3rd party piece of software. I’m looking at Clever.com at the moment. This is mainly to make it easier for little people to log in.
Would you recommend a chromebook monitoring program such as goguardian?
I haven’t gone down that route but now you say it… 😀
I guess it depends on your school and the risk of inappropriate behaviour. We haven’t enabled Gmail or any IM so I think we’re ok.
How do kids log on to them? Do they all use a unique gmail? Can a whole class log on with one username e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
Right now, everyone gets their own login @domainofschool.ie. The trouble with this is that it takes AGES for younger children to log in. We’re looking at Clever.com to counteract this. I think it’s better that everyone has their own address.
Do they work ok with existing printers or do you need to buy new ones especially for them?
So far so good with ours but we have a network printer/photocopier. I would be hesitant about buying new printers specifically for Chromebooks.
Is there a good selection of apps for Primary schools? Most of the information I have found about them relates to second level application.
I’m not much of an app person and we’re really just using the G Suite apps and a few websites. There are a load of drill and practice Maths sites there but it’s not really an area I’m big into. I do know that most Android apps can be installed on Chromebooks but I haven’t figured out how yet!
How much can you do with them offline?
Most G Suite apps are fine but outside of that, very few.
Would you recommend buying a lapcabby to house your Chromebooks?
Yes, I definitely would. I think they are almost essential to ensure they don’t go missing and are kept charged.
Is there a cost associated with administering Chromebooks through G Suite?