Monitoring Kids Chromebook Usage
It’s hard to believe that summer has come and gone, and a new school year is underway. With the increase in remote education and technology demands over the last two years, most schools have upgraded and increased their technology capabilities. Many kids and families will be introduced to Chromebooks and take-home devices for the first time and unsure how to handle the monitoring of these machines at home. This Tech Corner offers a few tips to help set up your children’s devices and best ways to monitor usage at home.
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.
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 parent’s “admin” or “super-user” account. There is a vast amount of protection options available through this, some of which include:
- Content Management and Filtering
- Control Screen Time
- Track their usage
- Turn On/Off App Functionality
Communication with your Child
This is not a lesson on parenting, but rather a recommendation on topics to speak with your children about, including:
- Be careful of online platforms that request personal, private, and sensitive data
- Avoid communication with strangers online and never agree to meet in person
- Avoid clicking on unknown links, downloading files from unknown sources, or sharing personal pictures.
- Set rules and boundaries on what is acceptable and allowed apps and websites within your family, and what is not.
Use Off-Campus Filtering Solutions
There are numerous platforms alongside Google’s protections that allow a third party web filtering and monitoring solution. These will track where your child has visited, keywords they have entered, topics they are searching, etc. It’s 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 done, and they have a plethora of games and apps available from the Google Play Store. This Tech Corner is meant to expand the knowledge of the available online 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.