As the adoption of Chromebooks in education continues to grow, schools and districts have come to rely on Google Workspace for Education for student safety and success. And given the wide choice of Chrome OS devices, K-12 schools tend to focus primarily on selecting the devices that best meet their needs. They rightly focus on features like screen size, touch capability, ruggedness, and cost. What’s under the hood becomes less important in relation to durability and what the student experience will be.
However, when it comes to managing thousands of Chromebooks, most K-12 understaffed IT teams can use all the help they can get. Two tools that IT teams may find critical are the Chrome Education Upgrade License and the Google Admin Console. Both can help them manage their device fleets more effectively and efficiently.
Together, the two tools allow IT staff to monitor, control, secure and organize the environment that students and teachers use every day. This centralized administration also allows IT teams to configure and support thousands of Chromebooks across the district or facility from a single interface, and in most cases without having to visit the device locally. at school.
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Here are three ways IT teams can use the Google Admin console to more easily manage these devices:
Familiarize yourself with Google Admin console commands
Once a district purchases its Chromebooks, its IT team begins a simple process to link them to the district’s Google Workspace environment. Once the link is complete, the team can manage multiple areas, such as operating system updates, login security, integration with other IT systems, and accessibility from one point. unique in the administration console for the entire fleet. In the console, IT teams can turn devices on or off when needed or take control of a Chromebook remotely to troubleshoot or help guide users through an issue.
Hundreds of Chrome settings are available; make sure Chrome devices and Chrome desktop browsers are managed.
The console also provides deep, granular user-level settings that IT teams can use to provide students with access to apps, tools, websites, and printers.
IT can also control and secure the Chrome environment, ensuring students stay safe while online and on track without distractions. Controls are particularly useful when seasonal standardized testing occurs. IT teams can remotely configure Chromebooks to automatically launch the test app. The app provides students with a controlled, consistent, and secure testing environment that prevents them from wandering off, cheating, or attempting to circumvent the test.
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Remotely configure apps and extensions for student Chromebooks
IT can also use Chrome user and browser settings to configure apps and extensions, which are then available or automatically provisioned and installed on student Chromebooks.
To ensure students and teachers have the tools and resources they need without having to search for them, IT can also use the Google Admin console to set bookmarks and webpage delivery settings. . These can be automatically configured and delivered to a Chrome browser session, instantly providing students with the resources and websites they need.
Easily put thousands of Chrome devices into test mode with one click and automatically start your app to reduce distractions.
How to Tighten Security with Google Control Settings
In its “EdTech Leadership Survey Report 2021,” the Consortium for School Networking reported that 77% of districts surveyed did not have a full-time employee dedicated to network security. To help improve the district’s security posture, IT should pay attention to security and control settings in the Google Admin console.
I recommend removing access to incognito mode for students to prevent them from browsing the internet in an untracked and unfiltered space. Keeping the browser history option enabled and available ensures that IT teams will be able to find information and support school administrators when needed.
Another security feature that IT can enable by default is Safe Search, as this will remove inappropriate search results from students’ view. Combining Safe Search with an always-on browser history prevents students from browsing to known malware and other malicious websites, helping to make non-Chrome OS devices safer and cleaner.
Prevent visits to malicious websites with safe browsing, which will also help keep your Windows devices running smoothly.
Many districts also struggle with the size and wide range of content available on YouTube. IT admins can enforce restricted mode on YouTube for all devices in Chrome user settings. This prevents students from watching inappropriate content and empowers teachers to approve certain curriculum-appropriate content if necessary.
Google Workspace for Education administrators can play a key role in supporting both staff and students at the point of instruction. When they take advantage of some of the more advanced features of the Google Admin console, they can share the right tools needed for collaboration, secure the workspace, remove distractions, and manage updates and options. of accessibility.
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Getty Images: monkeybusinessimages (classroom), Savusia Konstantin (student); loommill/Shutterstock (Chromebooks); courtesy of Google (screenshots)