Chromebook and GAFE FAQ

What is GAFE?

GAFE is Google Apps for Education. Through the Chrome browser Google is the host for a suite of applications available to educational institutions or use in school communities. The applications that are provided as core are email, calendar, documents (docs), slides, spreadsheets, and forms. A range of other applications (Apps) are available to load onto the users account. It allows staff and students to create, share and collaborate in an online space where the school can monitor usage (as we do with our current network).


What is Chrome?

Chrome is a web browser. It allows devices to access the internet and for users to access websites. (The best known web browsers are Internet Explorer and Safari).


Why do I need Chrome?

We will be using Chrome to access Google Drive and other Chrome Apps to create documents and work at St Gregory’s.


Where do I get it from?

Chrome can be downloaded from the internet for free for most devices from the following link


What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is an App that allows users to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms. Once created these can then be shared with staff, students and parents to allow users to collaborate on the document. Google Drive also allows users to save their work so that it is accessible from any online device through a logon.


What will we be doing in it?

At St Gregory’s Primary School we will be using Google Drive and other Chrome Apps in many ways:

  • giving students access to cloud storage so they can access their work from any device wherever they have internet access
  • allowing students access to a range of subject specific Apps to complete class work.
  • create a genuine online learning environment.
  • facilitate collaboration between peers and shared learning.
  • allow parents and carers a greater window into their children's learning.

Can we use Google docs without Chrome?

Yes you can use Google docs without Chrome, but it may not be as functional as in Chrome. You will have access to the additional Apps that we will be recommending that are only accessible through Chrome.


What are Web Apps?

Apps is an abbreviation for application. An App is a piece of software. It can run on the Internet, on your computer, or on your phone or other electronic device. (

Web Apps or web-based applications are programs that are designed to be used entirely within the browser. Using apps, you can do things like create documents, edit photos, and listen to music, without having to install complicated software. (


What Apps will we need?

Initially, Chrome has a standard set of apps; chrome web store, Google docs, Google Drive and G-mail. You can load your selection of Apps through the Chrome web store. It is anticipated that at St Gregory’s we will have the capacity to connect free, subject specific Apps to each user.


Why has the school purchased just Chromebooks?

Chromebooks are extremely cheap compared to most other computers, are fast to boot, have long lasting batteries (longer than a school day), cheap and easy to replace parts (compared to iPads). They effectively facilitate all the things we want to do in a learning environment.


Aren’t Chromebooks only good for using Google Apps?

Pretty much! But that is their advantage, not disadvantage. Their limitations means that Chromebooks cannot be used to access many of the ‘distractions’ other computers and devices provide, such as gaming, multimedia (music, movies, etc.)


What happens if the school wireless is down?

The offline abilities of Chrome OS have skyrocketed since the first Google laptops hit the streets, and now Chromebooks can tackle many of the most popular PC uses—from blasting out emails to working on spreadsheets to even just playing movies—completely offline. The school has have put a significant amount of money into upgrading the school wireless network to ensure this happens less. The wireless will go down from time to time (as it does anywhere - it is not a perfect system). Keep in mind, that when the school network goes down, our existing computers become quite limited too – there is no access to the internet or the school drives (no saving of students' work).