We needed a set of mobile devices for our Science department. They had to be portable but we didn’t have the budget for Windows laptops. In our research we came to the conclusion that using iPads as multi-user devices wasn’t appropriate, however, we still wanted the accessibility, speed, and reliability of a tablet. We decided to experiment with a set of 25 Chromebooks.

If you’ve been following our little Chromebook experiment you’ll know that we’ve now purchased 25 Chromebooks but made the mistake of not ordering them from a Google recommended supplier. This resulted in us not having the required management licenses to enroll the Chromebooks in our Google Apps for Education domain.

You may also be interested in:

Chromebook Experiment – Part 1: Purchasing

Chromebook Experiment – Part 2: Management Licenses

Chromebook Experiment – Part 3: Setting up the Chromebooks

Chromebook Experiment – Part 4: Managing Expectiations

Best Practice: Configuring Chromebook With Google Apps

Lack of Support

After several calls to Google Support to clarify the situation I finally received an email from a Google rep with the contact details of a UK based Google reseller who could provide the licenses. In the meantime I had been reviewing all of the online documentation to find anywhere that had more information on the licenses. There is little to no information available.

Chromebook Management License For Education Price

The cost for one Chromebook Education Management License is £19 + VAT. Therefore, the total additional purchase for us will be £475 — quite an additional sum.

The reseller was extremely helpful and answered a lot of the questions we had. I asked why there was the additional cost when Google were selling exactly the same hardware plus the license at no additional cost. Apparently that’s just the way it works. I assume it encourages education customers to purchase through approved channels which allows Google to better manage the system end to end. The process still leaves a bad taste in the mouth though.

Chromebook Management License Details

Chromebook management licenses are assigned per machine, and cannot be transferred to other hardware. This means if your Chromebook breaks, or you replace it with a new one you are required, officially anyway, to purchase a new license. The reseller I spoke to, however, claimed that Google were quite lenient with this and suggested that further purchases would not be required. An official position on this still needs clarification.

Licenses, even on Chromebooks purchased directly from Google, take between 5 and 7 says to be activated. This is, according to the reseller, due to two teams in Dublin and San Francisco being involved in the activation process.

Still Waiting…

I’ve now placed the order for the management licenses with the reseller — which ironically came on in Microsoft Word document despite them also being a Google Apps reseller — and am waiting for the licenses to be activated. Once they are I’ll document the process of enrolling Chromebooks on our Google Apps domain.


About Author

Profile photo of Karl Rivers

Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.


  1. This is a huge PITA. If I’d have known this I would have found a google reseller. The way the support site words it is that a chromebook just needs to be enrolled in an Google Apps domain, and poof, MDM goodness. I’m not even sure I could get the model I wanted (HP Chromebook 14 with 4g, or any chromebook with a 14 inch screen and Haswell chipset) through them.

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