April 23, 2020

How to Use Chromebook Monitoring Software to Protect Students

GoGuardian Team
An image of a young student looking up a teacher who is pointing at a laptop screen

Chromebooks in the Classroom

To get the most benefit from an education system, students need a couple of basic things. These include tools to organize themselves and a reliable resource to study and research the information they need. They also need a system that can help them communicate with educators and other students. In this regard, the Chromebook is a simple and intuitive device for classrooms.

Chromebooks are increasingly a part of classrooms because of their great performance and ability to boost students’ capabilities of learning anywhere and anytime. They also help students with career preparation, as a Chromebook is an engaging device that can close the achievement gap in the classroom environment.

Did you know that 85percent of school districts and schools across the U.S. had a Chromebook program in place during 2019? With school closures requiring more take-home devices, that number is likely increasing in 2020. It is worth noting that schools that use Chromebooks to facilitate learning have not reported students having any difficulties or issues using these devices.

Here is another great benefit of using the Chromebook in classrooms. As the device automatically updates, Chromebook is an easier device to protect from viruses and malware compared to traditional laptops, making it ideal for students. The simplified management, oversight, and maintenance that Chromebook offers is one reason it has made a huge splash in schools, with more than 30 million students using a Chromebook at school today.

Why Use Chromebook Monitoring?

Are you considering a Chromebook for your child or student? If that is the case, you might be wondering why you need Chromebook monitoring software. Parental monitoring or Chromebook parental controls are not necessarily about “catching” children in the act of doing something inappropriate. Chromebook monitoring software helps protect children. After all, you don’t want to have to worry about them stumbling across inappropriate content, such as sexual content, on the internet.

Although the internet is a handy and valuable tool for students, there are also dangers and distractions that could be potentially harmful for young people. Some children and teenagers frequently experience cyberbullying, while others are harassed or even stalked. Children are at risk of being exposed to harmful activity on the internet, especially in some online communities. With over half of the primary and secondary school students in the U.S. using Chromebooks, monitoring and parental controls for Chromebook can play a pivotal role in keeping students safe online and ensuring digital citizenship.

It is worth noting that kids and students do not always have the discernment and judgment necessary to differentiate between good and bad information. This is why they can easily be misinformed. Learning responsible and productive use of the internet and screen time, particularly at younger ages, helps kids develop into healthy and responsible netizens in adulthood and helps build better digital citizenship.

Also, note that children and students sometimes need protection from themselves. And Google's own YouTube is probably one of the biggest culprits. YouTube’s powerful “watch next” algorithm has taken some kids down upsetting and unsettling rabbit trails. Additionally, it is not unusual for kids and teens to overshare their personal information, which can endanger them if the wrong person is able to view that sensitive information.

How to Use Chromebook Monitoring Software

Chromebooks and Chrome OS already have a good range of parental controls because of their focus on students, kids, and education. Here are some of the best Chromebook monitoring apps to enable parental controls on your kid’s device.

Chromebook Parental Controls

Google Family Link is perhaps one of the best-integrated Chromebook parental control tools available. Google designed the app that lets you conveniently monitor your kid’s Chromebook session from your Android smartphone. In order to set up parental controls on your kid’s Chromebook, you will need a Chromebook with Chrome OS 65 or later and a Family Link account. Google Family Link allows you to:

  • Control daily time limits manually
  • Set Chromebook use time limits
  • View application usage as well as make time activity reports for your children
  • Approve app downloads
  • Add exploration and education-focused applications remotely
  • Lock Chromebooks remotely, with a particular unlock time

Educators can also use GoGuardian Teacher™ to manage and monitor your students’ activity on a Chromebook. With GoGuardian, you will know your educational technology is facilitating student learning instead of distracting from it.

If your kid does not have a Family Link account, you can easily download and install this app on iOS or Android. After that, follow the prompts and create an account. Use your kid's account information to add a new user to the Chromebook. You can do it by selecting Add Person on your kid’s Chromebook's lock screen. To sign in to the Chromebook, use your kid's Family Link credentials. When you do that, you have to sign in to the parental account associated with Family Link for approval. You will see a prompt that explains what your kid will have access to, and more importantly, the content that the app blocks to keep your kid safe.

With the new account added, your kid can use the Chromebook safely, with some restriction—there is no access to the Chrome Web Store or the Play Store, and users cannot use the incognito mode in Chrome.

Other options for parental control include:

  • Circle with Disney – one of the most popular parental control devices for controlling devices at the router.
  • CleanBrowsing’s – clean DNS that blocks most pornography domains.

However, if you are looking for a comprehensive filtering solution for students on school devices, GoGuardian Admin™ has you covered.

How to Use GoGuardian Software

GoGuardian helps educators, teachers, and parents manage device distractions, while keeping students and kids focused on learning, by personalizing and customizing internet and app access for students in every classroom. The solution offers unmatched functionality and flexibility in classroom management tools. GoGuardian’s comprehensive solution is compatible with different operating systems, devices, and hardware. Here are some notable features:

  • Web Content Filtering: Set content filters based on categories, and see when students attempt to access blocked sites.
  • Website Activity: See site visits and search activity on your students’ Chromebooks (or your children’s, if you have GoGuardian Parent App).
  • Time Limits/Scheduling: Set time limits for devices, and create a day-by-day schedule of approved usage time.
  • Social Network Supervision: Monitor how frequently children log into social networks, like Facebook.
  • App Supervision: View and block installed apps.
  • Search Supervision: Enable safe search features on common search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), and view the terms searched for on a device.
  • Customizable: With full control for different content types at school and at home, all at the Org Unit level.
  • Suicide prevention with GoGuardian Beacon.

Final Thoughts

Comprehensive monitoring and open communication with your kids and students provide the best pathway for protecting them while they learn how to navigate the internet as they learn and grow. Even though installing Chromebook monitoring software on your students’ devices might seem like a lot of work, it is certainly worth the time and effort to easily filter and monitor their activity to encourage healthy screen time habits.

Contact us if you want to learn more about using GoGuardian for monitoring Chromebooks.