Tech Corner August 2020 | Monitoring Chromebook Usage

Monitoring/Managing Chromebook Usage for Kids 

As the COVID-19 epidemic emerged and school districts were scrambling to initiate a 1:1 program for take-home devices, many parents were also doing the same for remote learning.  Chromebooks, being a light weight, portable, and inexpensive solution have become a common amongst most of these environments.

Chromebook devices, through the power of Google and ChromeOS, have a vast array of security and protection capabilities in place.  It’s important to note that while your child is working on a Chromebook or 1:1 device at their school, it doesn’t always mean the same protections are in place while working from home.

  1. Google’s Built-In Family Protections
    • Google offers a parental monitoring system called Family Link which allows the capability to have your child’s google account managed by a parents “admin” or “super-user” account. There a vast amount of protection options available through this, some of which include:
      1. Content Management and Filtering
      2. Control Screen Time
      3. Track their usage
      4. Turn On/Off App Functionality
  1. Communication with your Child
    • This is not a lesson on parenting, rather, a recommendation on topics to speak with your children about
      1. Be careful of online platforms that request personal, private, and sensitive data
      2. Avoid communication with strangers online and never agree to meet in person
      3. Avoid clicking on unknown links, downloading files from unknown source, or sharing personal pictures.
      4. Set rules and boundaries on what is acceptable and allowed apps and websites within your family, and what is not.
  1. Use Off-Campus Filtering Solutions
    • There are numerous platforms alongside Google’s protections that allow a 3rd party web filtering and monitoring solution. These will track where your child has visited, keywords they have entered, topics they are searching, etc.  A great way to monitor and protect them from the unfortunate “dirty” side of the internet.

Chromebooks are a great tool and an excellent way for kids to get their school work down as well as a plethora of games and apps available from the Google Play Store.  This tech corner is not a means to halt the usage of Chromebooks, but more expand the knowledge of the tools for protecting and monitoring our kids.  Just as you would keep your kids close to you in an amusement park, you want to keep them close to you while connected to the web.


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