Frequently Asked Questions
Impact on Learning
How will the Chromebooks enhance learning at Glyn School?
- The following are examples of how students` learning will be enhanced:
- Create, share and collaborate using the Google suite tools to increase the potential of peer assessment and collaborative learning approaches
- Organise independent learning tasks and classwork through Google Classroom allowing easy access
- Use excellent learning resources from our web based tools, including up to date and relevant e-textbooks, where appropriate
- Use digital tools to support research and writing. For example, academic bibliography and citation tools, read aloud and voice recognition tools to promote independent learning
- Think and behave creatively across their subjects using Cloud Apps for design, planning, animation, mind-mapping, image editing, sound editing, video recording, etc
- Use subject related Apps in the classroom and at home
- Greater opportunities of differentiation within the class to meet students` needs
- Effective assessment for learning in and out of the lesson to both redirect the lesson and aid long term planning based on students` learning
Does this mean exercise books will be outdated?
Most definitely not! Traditional methods of learning and teaching still have an important place in education and will continue in our school. Chromebooks should be seen as an additional educational tool, a tool to enhance learning rather than replace these methods. This will ensure students` handwriting skills continue to be developed.
Why have we selected Chromebooks?
There is a wide range of tablet and laptop-style devices available on the market. We have conducted extensive research when considering the type of device that would be best suited to students in our school.
A Chromebook looks like a laptop in appearance, but operates in a very different way with students accessing services and Apps online. The Chromebook operating system is produced by Google, who provide a wealth of Apps and services specifically designed to support students in education. Chromebook devices boot-up in a matter of seconds and have a battery life that lasts up to eight hours, dependent on use. Chromebook devices will be managed by Freedom Tech to ensure that access is safe and secure.
Can Parents and Carers access Google classroom?
Parents and Carers will receive a summary email notification of the work their child has been set within Google classroom each week. This could be classwork or homework which has been set by the teacher. All homework tasks that are set will be logged by teachers so you are able to view this on the summary email.
Have other schools benefited from Chromebook roll outs?
Yes! We have spoken to a range of schools who are using the Google suite tools and Chromebooks to great effect. They believe the quality of feedback, ability to collaborate, assessment of students learning and the ease of differentiation are some of the greatest benefits to students learning that they have experienced. A case study of Google suite tools and Chromebooks in a specific school is available at: Case Study
When can the Chromebooks be used?
In lessons and at home. The Chromebooks will enable students to enhance their learning within the classroom but should also allow them to extend their learning outside of the classroom too. Students will be able to use their Chromebooks at break and lunch in the library or the Sixth Form study area.
Year 12 or 13 students will have 10 lessons a week of Independent Study. We currently have 75 computers in the Sixth Form study area with 550 students in the Sixth Form. The introduction of Chromebooks will provide students with constant access to the resources they require to fully utilise their Independent Study sessions.
When will the Chromebooks be released?
The Chromebooks have been released in a phased programme starting with Year 12 students in September 2018 and Year 9 students in April 2019. New Year 7 and new Year 12 students will then receive their Chromebooks in October 2019, Year 9 students in January 2020 and Year 8 students in April 2020. Our final roll out of the initial stage will be in September 2020 for Year 7 (current Year 6) and 12 (current Year 11).
My child already has a similar device therefore can they use that instead?
If students already have a Chromebook, they are welcome to use that instead. The device will, however, need to be restricted in the same way a device purchased via Glyn School would be. This is to ensure we can monitor that students are using the device appropriately and their online safety is not compromised. The device will be filtered using the schools internet filtering system to ensure the students are only accessing appropriate material. The Chrome management license is a perpetual license and will therefore last the lifetime of the device. This license enables the school to pre-configure all devices and deploy useful apps and extensions to all devices. There will be a charge of £34 to enrol, manage and filter the device on the Glyn School network.
Unfortunately, all other devices will not be allowed. Other devices may not be fully compatible with the Google Apps and add-ons that we will be using for learning and teaching, may not have sufficient battery life for a day`s usage, boot up within eight seconds and may cost considerably more. In addition to this, Freedom Tech will not be able to support or fix multiple types of devices, nor can our teachers be expected to understand the different problems that they will present in the classroom. For example, if a student is struggling to connect to the Wi Fi during a lesson, there will be issues trying to find the settings for that particular device and the different routes associated with that device’s operating system.
As part of our Safeguarding procedures and the Prevent agenda, we also need to ensure we can enrol the device on to our system for security and management. We would need to deploy the Google Management Software and Impero to all devices. These Apps allow us to manage the student’s device whilst in school and log any incidents of inappropriate behaviour.
Who owns the Chromebook?
The device will solely belong to the student, unless the device is subject to a payment plan – in this case, the student will be able to use the device 24/7, but they will not completely own the device until the final payment is made. If opting for the longer payment plan Parents and Carers operate within the leasing scheme which will be run by an external provider, Freedom Tech.
Could we buy a cheaper Chromebook model ourselves and ‘opt out’ of the Glyn School scheme?
We will be offering the Lenovo 300e model as part of the scheme as it has a range of excellent features including touch and flip screen and two cameras. We believe it is robust enough to be used in a school setting. There are cheaper Chromebook models on the retail market and you are welcome to purchase one of these for yourself, but please be aware that Freedom Tech will be unable to repair these devices should they be damaged. We will also require you to pay £34 to Glyn School to enrol and manage the device to work with our Chrome management software.
Could we ‘opt out’ of the scheme all together?
We truly believe the introduction of Chromebooks and the use of Google suite tools will enhance learning and teaching at Glyn school. It will enable teachers to really utilise technology to benefit students’ learning and therefore ultimately their progress. That said, if you do not want to be involved in the scheme, teachers will ensure your child’s learning is not negatively affected.
Is the battery life sufficient for school use?
Chromebooks have a battery life of up to 12 hours and can be fully charged from 0% in 4.5 hours. This varies depending on what the Chromebook is being used for (eg web browsing is very different to using YouTube). As long as students charge the Chromebook overnight, it will last all day. An energy research body has calculated the cost of charging a Chromebook for a year to be 87p if charged every other night.
Can power banks be used to charge Chromebooks?
Yes, there are a range of power banks on the market which provide portable charging solutions for the Chromebooks. The power bank will plug into the USB-C port and require an output of 30W in order to charge at maximum speed.
What will happen to the current IT suites?
Initially, we will be maintaining our investment in the IT suites that run specialist software, including our suites for Media, Computer Science, Music and Technology. As the phased roll out of Chromebooks progresses, we will consider if a reduction in IT suites is appropriate.
Can my child put their own content on to the Chromebook (eg music, video, Apps)?
Yes, your child should treat the Chromebook as their own when at home. A big part of the success of this scheme will rely on students valuing the Chromebook as part of their wider life and therefore taking care of it, charging it and bringing it to school every day. Therefore, students are able to download non-educational Apps to enjoy at home once they are appropriate in content. As the Cloud storage space is provided via the Google domain that Glyn School own, students will not be allowed to download music, videos and movies onto their Chromebooks.
Have we considered the ergonomics?
Yes. The devices can be used in a range of ways to suit the users’ needs. In addition to this, the blended approach to learning which we will be taking will ensure the devices are used alongside traditional approaches. This will enable us to utilise the benefits of bringing technology into the classroom without compromising students’ working environments.
What happens if a student fails to charge their Chromebook?
Students are responsible for bringing their Chromebook to school with sufficient charge to use during the day. If students fail to meet this expectation, they will receive a one hour detention in line with the school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy and provided with the opportunity to charge their Chromebook in the classroom.
How will you deal with inappropriate use of the Chromebook at school?
Students will be expected to bring their charged Chromebook to school and use it appropriately, following the teacher`s instructions. Any students not following the teacher’s instructions will be sanctioned according to the school`s Behaviour for Learning Policy.
How much will the Chromebooks cost?
The Chromebooks will cost £389.64. The price will include a soft branded sleeve, Chrome management license, three year ADT insurance, three year next day replacement warranty, filtering, enrolment and 24 hour device swap out for any breakages or warranty repairs.
Why are we using a leasing scheme?
The benefits of using a leasing scheme with Freedom Tech are:
- Lower monthly payment amount available through ability to pay the device back over a greater period of time.
- Device insurance, protecting the device against theft or accidental damage with no excess and unlimited number of claims.
- Excellent customer service, including a replacement device provided within 24 hours during any period of repair.
- Improved brand quality offered through Lenovo.
- Full ownership of the device once final payment is made
How will I make payments?
Payments will be made via Direct Debit using an online portal provided and administered by Freedom Tech. The online portal is now available to be accessed through this address www.tech4learners.co.uk.
Can I pay in instalments?
Families will be able to pay via a range of payment plans. The scheme will last for either 9 or 21 months or can be paid in full at the start of the contract. The cost per month varies depending on the length of scheme selected:
Full payment £389.64
9 month scheme £45.26 per month
21 month scheme £20.41 per month
It is a key element of our strategy that we are as flexible as we can be with the payment arrangements. This will include, for instance, paying by instalments over a number of months. Those families who have siblings at the school, those who qualify as Pupil Premium or for Free School Meals will be eligible for a discounted price.
Will we need to buy any other equipment?
Students will be required to use earphones with their device from time to time. No additional equipment will be required with the devices. Replacement accessories such as a power cable may be required if the original is lost or damaged. All accessories supplied by the school are genuine products and will be sold at cost price, representing a significant saving.
What happens when I leave Glyn Sixth Form at the end of Year 13?
As soon as the device has been paid off the device will be yours. Assuming the school has a need for additional devices, we will offer a buy back option at the end of Year 13. This will provide those students who do not wish to keep their Chromebook when they leave the Sixth Form the opportunity to sell it back to the school.
What happens if the Chromebook is damaged or lost?
If the Chromebook is damaged, Freedom Tech will repair the device through the insurance. Freedom Tech will offer a repair service for any Chromebooks purchased through Glyn School. Students will receive a replacement device within 24 hours of it being handed in to the school. If the Chromebook is stolen, this will be covered via the insurance from Freedom Tech.
However, if the Chromebook is lost, this is not covered via the insurance from Freedom Tech.
Are the Chromebooks covered with insurance?
Yes! The Chromebooks come with 3 years Accidental Damage and Theft Insurance with no excess.
Are the Chromebooks robust enough for a school setting?
We believe the devices will be robust enough for a school setting. Although we suggest not testing this, the Good Housekeeping guide highlights the devices critical components can withstand drops from 1.2 metres and the keyboard is spill-proof. Due to the touch flipped screen capabilities of the device, it provides the flexibility of a tablet with the capability of a laptop. Further information is available at: Good Housekeeping
What happens if the Chromebook is lost or stolen?
Freedom Tech will be able to remotely disable the device, rendering it unusable and unfit for resale. We will be encouraging students to register their device on the Police’s ‘Immobilise’ database. ‘Immobilise’ is the world’s largest free register of possession ownership details and, together with its sister sites NMPR and CheckMEND, forms a very effective tool in helping to reduce crime and repatriate recovered personal property to its rightful owners. Further information is available at www.immobilise.com.
What about safety while travelling to and from school?
In our research with other schools who have introduced 1:1 devices, it is clear that this is not an issue they have experienced. However, it is sensible to reduce the risk of theft through some common sense measures. Students should keep their Chromebook in their bag on the way to and from school, both for road safety and crime prevention reasons. This is advisable if travelling by bus, bike or on foot.
Will Google own my data?
The data is the property of Glyn School. Google Apps for Education customers own their own data, not Google. Google offers customers a detailed data processing amendment that describes our commitment to protecting your data. A link to this
As a school we are following DfE and ICO guidance in this area. A link to this guidance can be found here:
Google do store and log information but this data is encrypted in transmission and at rest, at the same time Google have a contract that says they do not share the data. A link to this contract can be found here:
In addition, Google has signed up to the Student Pledge which was introduced by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). It is intended to reflect Google’s commitment to safeguard student personal information in their services designed for use in schools. A link to the pledge can be found here: https://studentprivacypledge.org/
What technical support will there be for students?
Freedom Tech will be able to help resolve many technical issues, but one of the major advantages of the Chromebooks is that they rarely go wrong. Due to the web-based approach of the Chromebook, they update automatically. We are going to be running a weekly Chromebook surgery for students to come to with any problems or questions they have. In addition, we will be training selected students to be ‘Google Gurus’ to provide more support for students.
How do I connect the Chromebook to the internet in my house?
Chromebooks use wireless to connect to a network, so you will need Wi Fi at home to use the Chromebook on the internet there. If you have Wi Fi, your network security key can be added to the Chromebook before log on. If you do not have Wi Fi at home, the Chromebook will still work for some Apps, however email and web browsing will not be accessible until the Chromebook is back within the school’s network.
Will the schools Wi Fi be able to cope with the increased demands?
GLF IT team have assured us our current Wi Fi provision will be able to cope with the increased the number users brought about through the roll out of Chromebooks.
How will the Chromebook be backed up?
The Chromebook is always backed up, and our students have unlimited storage space in the Google Cloud. This is already set up and associated with their Glyn School email address. When students leave Glyn School they will need to move any files they wish to keep onto their own Google account. We will, of course, ensure we support students with this migration process.
What are we doing to reduce e-safety concerns with the Chromebooks?
We already operate a very effective internet and email filtering policy. We also monitor the computers for inappropriate behaviour and can take control for remote support or classroom management, which we will extend to Chromebooks. Through Go Guardian, we are able to offer an opt-in e-safety filter, which can extend the protection to the device when at home. This opt-in e-safety filter will focus on the following categories: adult/pornography, violence/race hate, illegal drugs, criminal skill/activity, gambling.
How long will the Chromebooks last?
Chromebooks update automatically for five years after the device US release date, November 2023 in this case. After that point the device can still be used, but would not be running the latest software.
Are there any Chromebook guides available?
Yes, there is a lot of free guidance available on the internet. This link is a particularly useful one:
We will make sure all of our students receive the teaching input to get them up and running with their new Chromebooks. During Tutor time, there will be some Chromebook skills development sessions. We are also inviting Parents and Carers to a range of free training sessions during the academic year for those interested in improving their own skills with their child’s Chromebook. It is important to us that everyone (teachers, students, Parents and Carers) feel capable and confident with the Chromebooks.
How are teachers being supported to maximise the potential of Chromebooks?
We have been trialling Chromebooks for a little while but, importantly, we have all been working with the Google suite tools (which will provide the main part of our learning Apps). Teachers’ expertise has been growing throughout this time with regular training events and high quality video guides. Students already work with Google Apps and associated Cloud storage. We also have a specialist teacher team of Chromebook users, referred to as ‘Google Guru’s’, who provide support to other colleagues to enable them to maximise the Google suite opportunities.
How are students being supported to maximise the potential of Chromebooks?
Selected students within each Year group will be selected as ‘Google Go-To’s’. These students will run a Google site for other students at the school to benefit from. The site will contain video guides on how to maximise your Chromebook and achieve the most from it. The ‘Google Go-To’s’ will also provide face to face support for their peers in Tutor sessions.
Will any support be provided for Parents and Carers?
During the Autumn term we will be delivering a range of support sessions for Parents and Carers. These will include how to:
- Best utilise a Chromebook
- Use the Google suite tools effective
- Stay safe online
- Support your child in a digital age