Frontier Regional and Union 38 School Districts’ Technician, Mike Peloquin, shares tips for a Chromebook rollout.
We deployed over 200 Chromebooks this year. I would say average setup time per device was about 7-10 minutes. That included unboxing, inventorying, labeling, configuring and enrolling the devices. This doesn’t include printer setup or additional settings we set within the Google Admin Console.
Some deployment tips:
1. Unless your teachers are REALLY good with Groups or if you need to track what each user is printing, do not use Groups to share printers.
2. If you want to push printers to certain grades/classrooms you need to sort the Chromebooks into separate sub-orgs. The easiest way to do this is to enroll the Chromebooks all at once per classroom.
For example: Say room D200 has 20 Chromebooks going into it. Create a sub-org called Room D200. Enroll 20 devices into your Google Apps Domain. Those 20 devices now appear at the root of your domain. You can then select them all and move them into that Room D200 sub-org. From there you can assign a Google Cloud Printer to that sub-org. That printer will then show up for any user using that device. You can also apply any other settings that falls under Device Management > Chrome > Device settings to sub-orgs of Chromebooks.
Printers are being pushed to the device this way and not the user which is why you can’t track who is printing what. I have put a feature request with Google to have them add a user to that print job.
3. Use Google Cloud Print service on your print server. You will need to install Google Chrome and have access to a Google Admin account. We created a Google-Printers account for the sole purpose of adding printers. All Google Cloud printers in our district are added with this account so we can manage them all from one central account. All print jobs will show coming from this Google-Printers account. Here is what our sub-orgs look like for our Chromebooks. This allows us to easily push printers and other device settings to Chromebooks based on their location.
4. If you are using Google Groups to share printers I still recommend adding all the printers with one account, unless you are in a big district where each school has 5-10 printers they want to push to Google Cloud Print. If you are using Groups I suggest you share the printer with the classroom teacher or LMC specialist (and give them Manage access) and let them manage creating the groups and sharing the printer out with the Groups.
5. Device settings only apply to devices. User settings only apply to users. This may be confusing because if you apply a device setting to say the 9th grade sub-org (contains all 9th grade users) if only the student accounts are in there and not the actual Chromebooks then no device settings will apply. You would think if you apply a device setting to a user sub-org then any device that the user is logging into would receive that device setting, but that is not the case.
6. Force auto enrollment. If someone wipes a device it will go automatically into Enterprise enrollment screen. This setting is under Device Management > Chrome > Device Settings. If you have this setting applied you will want to make sure Enrollment Permissions is also properly applied under Device Management > Chrome > User Settings. You want to make sure users can enroll a device after it has been wiped and it goes to that screen.
7. Make sure you enroll the devices after you connect them to WiFi. If you login to the Chromebook without enrolling the device you will need to wipe it and start over.
8. Have an access point in the same room you are using to enroll/setup the devices, to ensure you have a good wireless connection.
9. Make sure your reseller applies the Chrome Management licenses to your account before you start trying to enroll devices. We have had the licenses not apply right away, sometimes over a week after we received the devices and it required us to wait until they get applied.
Want to contact Mike Peloquin? You can find his contact info at the FRSU38.org website.