This week I took part in Education on Air, Google’s annual series of presentations looking at the use of technology in the classroom. I talked about how and why we decided to switch from a fleet of 700 Windows desktops to Chromebooks and Google Apps.

In the video I cover the decision making process we went though, and why we abandoned a system that had been working perfectly well for more than a decade and turned to cloud based alternatives instead. I also talk about the things that worked, things that didn’t, and challenges we found along the way. I’ll also share how we went about finding the money to give every student in our school a “free” Chromebook from current school budget — no leasing required.

If you’re looking to use Google Apps and Chromebooks in any capacity check out the video above!

Subscribe to the ClassThink YouTube channel so you can keep up to date with other videos like this!


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. How do you deal with Controlled Assessments if students are using chromebooks? Currently in AD we have separate accounts for the students to use that are disabled when not required. With Google accounts students could log on wherever and whenever they wanted to. Or do you still use desktops and AD accounts for controlled assessment work?

    • Profile photo of Karl Rivers

      Hi Fiaz,

      We use the Chromebooks for some things. You can now block and control access to sites from the Google Apps admin console. There are also products like Securly which you can use to block sites and see what students are accessing.

      You can also control who can logon and on which devices from the Google Apps admin console, so this is an option. If I have time I’ll put together some instructions.

      Hope this helps.


Tell us what you think!