Using GoGuardian to Monitor Chromebooks in School

GoGuardian is an excellent and low-cost solution for monitoring, filtering, and providing anti-theft solutions to schools that are using Google Chromebooks.  If you are using Chromebooks, or if your school is considering them, I highly recommend checking out GoGuardian because they offer incredibly useful services with an easy to understand interface that even those with limited tech experience can get used to.  

It’s a powerful tool, and, for $7 or less per device (depending on the length of your contract and the subscriptions bought), it comes at a very reasonable price.  

Now that you have a basic understanding of what GoGuardian is offering, let’s look a little deeper at their system and interface.  First, I should mention that you can use this service as a teacher, an administrator, or as a technology coordinator.  The team has done a great job customizing the software so that users get the information they need and want, but aren’t bogged down by data or pages that aren’t relevant to their role.  

When you first log in to the GoGuardian system, you’ll see the dashboard.  From here you can see how many users are online, what websites are trending, and get a basic overview of what’s going on within the system.  

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The GoGuardian Dashboard

At the bottom of the dashboard, you can find a break down of all the sites that have been visited, and you can even click on a particular site to see which users have been visiting those sites and how long they have spent on them, which is definitely a useful feature.  

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Click on a site to see which users have visited it and how much time they have spent there.

Next up, we’ll head down the tabs on the side of the dashboard and first is “Flagged Activity.”  Here, you can see which sites students have visited that have raised a flag, and you can determine the language parameters for what causes sites to be flagged as well.  

While you’re on the Flagged Activity page, you can click on a specific instance and see what triggered the flag, what student visited that site, and you can determine if that site should be blocked (blacklisted) or allowed (whitelisted).

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Click on a URL to bring up the reason the site was flagged.

The next tab, after Flagged Activity, is “Whitelist/Blacklist” and it is here that you can customize what triggers a flagged site.  You can blacklist websites by category, by specific words or terms, and you can even rank the severity of flagged sites, so while some sites may be blocked, an administrator won’t be informed unless it’s a “high severity” event (if that’s what you want).  

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Customize what sites are allowed and what sites are blocked.

You can also see what specific students have attempted to access blacklisted sites, which is great for teachers, counselors, and administrators to help open a dialogue with these students and see why they’re trying to access inappropriate or blacklisted material.  

You can also create a teacher bypass, so that if a teacher wants to be able to access a certain site that has been restricted, they can enter their password to override the restriction.  

Block pages can even be customizable, so you can have a fun gif, or a picture of your principal looking angry, or whatever you would like to add so that the students know they have been blocked and that the administration has been informed of their attempt to access a flagged site.

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See which students are accessing flagged sites

Moving on, the next feature is the ability to see what specific YouTube Videos are being watched, what Google searches are being conducted, what Apps & Extensions have been installed on the devices (you can block the ones you don’t want being used), and you can even see what Google Docs are being accessed by the students.

The Google Docs feature is my personal favorite, because a teacher can quickly see which students are working/contributing to documents and which students are not.  

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See the Google searches that students are conducting

 

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Browse the Google Docs that students are using

Next, if there is a specific student user you are curious about, you can pull up all sorts of information on them at any time.  You can see what sites they have been visiting, how long they’ve been spending on each site, what Google Docs they’ve been working on, and pretty much any sort of statistic or piece of data you would like to see.

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See exactly what sites students are visiting and how long they’re spending at each one

Next up, YouTube!  YouTube can be tricky, since there are so many wonderful videos and also so many horrible videos, and what do you do if you don’t want to block the entire site?  Well, GoGuardian has a solution which is currently in Beta, but it makes the filtering of YouTube much easier.  

With their filter, you can select specific YouTube categories to block out, certain words in titles or descriptions to block out, or even certain users to block.  It’s completely customizable and makes filtering YouTube much easier, and you don’t have to block the whole site!

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The new YouTube filter in action

On the setup side of GoGuardian, let’s say you’re a giant district and you want to have different settings based on grade level, or even based on specific classes.  That’s definitely possible and the setup interface is actually very  intuitive.  Basically, you would need to set up different “organizational units” or OUs and within each of those, you can determine what level of restrictions should be applied to the device based on whatever criteria you define.

GoGuardian also offers Anti-Theft protection and it’s pretty slick.  Basically, if a device has been stolen you can activate the Anti-Theft mode and choose what sorts of data you want that device to send back to you.  You can have the geolocation data, screenshots, keylog data, and even webcam pictures sent to you in order to help retrieve the device.  And it’s your choice which of these you want to activate, so you don’t have to receive them all if you don’t want to.

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Screensharing is also an option with GoGuardian so that teachers can see exactly what their students are looking at during class.  This is incredibly powerful tool and helps make classroom management so much easier.

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Finally, if you decide you do want to use GoGuardian in your school, they’ve got an excellent system of support should you run into any questions or difficulties.  To begin with, they’ve got someone waiting online to chat with you pretty much anytime you visit their site (and a real person! Not just a customer service robot).  And they also have a database of FAQs and support documentation for you to browse as well.

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Get any type of support you need!

So, with all that being said, if your school is using Chromebooks, or considering using Chromebooks, I absolutely recommend checking out GoGuardian.  They offer a TON of functionality at an incredibly reasonable price, they make classroom management in a digital environment so much easier, and the ability to see exactly what students are doing online at any given is absolutely invaluable.

​You can check out GoGuardian on our website here. 

Be your own one-man film crew with Swivl

This ain’t no roomba. The Swivl C Series Robot does so much more: it allows you to become a one-person video production team. Let the Swivl follow you around like a trained cameraman while you stand in front of the camera. Broadcast your lecture to students anywhere in the world or just to a single Skype user. There are no limits.

Ready to see which Swivl robot is right for you? Check out our website.

Polar 3D gets big break from GE

Polar 3D have made waves with their affordable 3D printing technology, and now, even the big boys are taking notice. In an effort to increase the visibility of 3D printing technology, GE has partnered with Polar 3D to donate over $10 million in both desktop 3D Printers and metal manufacturing machines.

Don’t want to miss out on the fun? Head on over to our website to check out how you can get your own Polar 3D printer.

Your art school or art program works with students to build their skills, reach their potential and prepare them for successful careers, whether they pursue animation, game development, fashion design, product design, film, photography and graphic design. Students need to be grounded in time-tested curriculum and fundamentals. At the same, technology now plays an increasingly important role. Our Cintiq Companion tablets, Cintiq creative pen displays and Intuos Pro tablets are a key element to giving students the training and experience they need.

Introducing aspiring art and design students to the same graphics tablets and pen displays used professionally by industry leading studios and agencies enhances their freedom of expression and accelerates their creative development. Our pen input lets students work fluidly whether they are drawing, creating new designs, building 3D models or editing photos. Implementing our creative products in the classroom can provide critical benefits.

  • Teach students to use the products they will use in their professional career.
  • Assure that students have the tools needed to create job-winning portfolios.
  • Attract highly qualified students with state-of-the-art equipment.

The success of students in your art program is tied to the skilled instructor’s guidance, ability to connect with students and encouragement. At Wacom, our goal is to help your art and design instructors and students be as successful as possible.

 

Animation as a profession, whether creating for feature films, documentaries or advertising, has been growing by leaps and bounds for more than a decade. For schools with animation majors or those that are considering starting one, this growth requires that animation programs have the technology and curriculum to properly prepare students for a career in animation. Since Wacom’s Cintiq Companion tablets, Cintiq creative pen displays and Intuos Pro pen tablets are a staple among professional animators, employing Wacom’s professional line of input devices in the classroom or lab allows instructors to create “real life” scenarios for their students. In addition, for instructors seeking to help students improve their software and drawing skills, the pen used with Wacom’s Cintiq and Intuos Pro products delivers unparalleled pressure sensitivity to all of the 2D and 3D creative applications being used by today’s professional animators.

Check out our Wacom Intuos options here: https://www.genesis-technologies.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=wacom+intuos&cat=

How Many Devices Can You Charge at a Time?

Anywhere Cart

Produces secure charging carts, cabinets and accessories for a wide range of devices including Chromebooks, iPads, Android Tablets and Laptops. With its solid construction and unique features, Anywhere Cart™ is the standard for over 700 districts in 45 states with more being added everyday!

Built to last a Lifetime

All Anywhere Cart™ models feature heavy duty full metal construction, unique adjustable device divider panels, easy to use cycle timers and robust 3-point locking doors with heavy duty hinges. The entire line up is manufactured with the highest level of precision and quality. Plus, as an established organization with over 19 years of educational reselling experience in the US, we stand behind our carts with a Lifetime frame limited warranty.

 

Take a look at this short review for a quick and easy understanding of how Cubelets work

Introducing children to science and engineering has never been easier with Cubelets. Check out this simple step by step review below that introduces the basics of Cubelets and how they can peak your students’ interest in electronic engineering in the classroom. Cubelets are especially appealing because they are large enough to present no choking hazard, making them safe for children of all ages.

You can also take a look at our Cubelets page here.

Users are ranking TuboCAD as their top design program

If you’re in need of engineering and design software for your classroom, check out TurboCAD. Take a look at the reviews here and find out why users rank TurboCAD as their favorite design software. Among many of the reasons are affordability, continuous industry relevance, and friendly user interface.

If you’re purchasing for your school, you’re eligible to receive a discount from us by going to our website here. Just look for products with “school license” in the title.