lancem631
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:02 pm

Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:17 pm

FlintOS provides a good ChromeOS experience however we have run into a brick wall hoping to enroll as a device on Google Management Console (G-Suite). "Oops! The system failed to determine device model or serial number" is the message we get. The environment is K12 school district where budget constraints are always present. Single Board Computers could be an alternative to Chromebooks if they can be centrally managed. If not Google Management Console (G-Suite) then something else?

ejolson
Posts: 2024
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:07 pm

lancem631 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:17 pm
If not Google Management Console (G-Suite) then something else?
PiNet is an excellent and well-tested way to centrally manage a classroom of Raspberry Pi computers running Raspbian.

Although popular in school settings, ChromeOS is not very useful for building robots, weather forecasting stations, and even much programming or computer science. The use of walled-garden operating systems which are designed for web browsing, word processing and basic secretarial tasks in primary and secondary schools is exactly what led to the skills shortage among incoming students at universities that the Raspberry Pi and the new computing curriculum was designed to remedy. Even if you are following a different set of standards, it makes no sense to repeat the same mistakes.

Having said this, the standard operating system for the Pi is Raspbian. Like ChromeOS it is based on a Linux kernel, however, unlike ChromeOS it is designed teach students how to read and write computer programs. It also has the Mathematica program built in, which would cost thousands of dollars otherwise. While Raspbian includes a word processor and a web browser, from my point of view, it is very important for students to view a computer as a general-purpose programmable device that can be used to automate things and not as fancy typewriter or communications device that merely enables people to perform manual labor electronically.

Curriculum redesign is very difficult to get right. It requires insight from people teaching in the classrooms, guidance from industry and foresight from researchers at the university. Too often, however, such redesign is attempted by politicians and education experts. The result is all the advantages of a disruption with none of the disadvantages of doing anything better.

Since Raspbian includes a word processor and a web browser in addition to the tools needed to make it possible for students to learn programming and introductory computer science, once the Pi lab is in place, it should be possible to gradually add computer science lessons to the curriculum.
Last edited by ejolson on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

lancem631
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:02 pm

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:35 pm

ChromiumOS on the Pi was an original plan rather than having to run Chrome on top of an OS. Kids are already used to a Chromebook experience. Introducing another layer of confusion typically frustrates things, mostly for the teachers. Most kids pickup on the differences however having a mix is not ideal. Comparing the lowest prices of Chromebooks to single board computers has been night and day for us. Converting existing labs to use existing keyboard/mouse/monitor with single board computers seems attractive, allowing us to retire those aging small form factor PC's. Almost everything is taught with Google Apps so having simple devices such as SBC eliminates dealing with hard drives, power supplies, added heat and energy, corrupt OS issues, security issues, once a year re-imaging multiple 30-station labs.

The $85 Chromebit does look promising and is compatible with our existing Google Management Console. We had already looked at PiNET and it still might be a viable option. Thank you for responding.

ejolson
Posts: 2024
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:01 pm

lancem631 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:35 pm
The $85 Chromebit does look promising and is compatible with our existing Google Management Console. We had already looked at PiNET and it still might be a viable option.
Another advantage of the Chromebit is that it has 2GB RAM, which makes it better for web browsing. Do they need Bluetooth keyboards and mice?

From an educational point of view, I would strongly caution against computerised learning platforms which use technology to teach students traditional science and mathematics topics. Having the computer ask students to reason things out with pencil and paper is a role reversal from the historical idea that a computer is a tool used by people to solve problems. In my opinion, a world where computers tell people what to do rather than the other way around is best left to science fiction and better not to be implemented in the classroom.
Last edited by ejolson on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lancem631
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:02 pm

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:13 pm

I hear you and this is much like preaching to the choir. I'm a 65 year old retired IT Project Manager from the private sector where we lived in a completely different environment than public sector folks.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 17638
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:18 pm

lancem631 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:35 pm
ChromiumOS on the Pi was an original plan rather than having to run Chrome on top of an OS. Kids are already used to a Chromebook experience. Introducing another layer of confusion typically frustrates things, mostly for the teachers. Most kids pickup on the differences however having a mix is not ideal. Comparing the lowest prices of Chromebooks to single board computers has been night and day for us. Converting existing labs to use existing keyboard/mouse/monitor with single board computers seems attractive, allowing us to retire those aging small form factor PC's. Almost everything is taught with Google Apps so having simple devices such as SBC eliminates dealing with hard drives, power supplies, added heat and energy, corrupt OS issues, security issues, once a year re-imaging multiple 30-station labs.

The $85 Chromebit does look promising and is compatible with our existing Google Management Console. We had already looked at PiNET and it still might be a viable option. Thank you for responding.

Though I feel the Raspberry Pi is good it does have browsing limitations, I personally replaced my PC / Laptop with 'ChromeBrit & USB with Ethernet Hub', it was a cost effective solution for me, though official support ends Nov 2020:

https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366
Adieu

ejolson
Posts: 2024
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:25 pm

lancem631 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:13 pm
I hear you and this is much like preaching to the choir.
Fair enough. One thing that worries me about the Chromebit is maintaining a room full of Bluetooth keyboards and mice. That seems like a lot of batteries and things that could get mixed up or disappear.

lancem631
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:02 pm

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:32 pm

The plan is to use existing wired keyboard/mouse attached to USB ports on Dell monitors connected to USB port on Chromebit. Use a DVI to HDMI adapter for video between Chomebit and Dell Monitor. Kids use headphones for audio. At least that is what we hope works.

lancem631
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:02 pm

Re: Google Management Console (G-Suite)

Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:16 pm

And speaking of educational https://goo.gl/DdSKHK

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