Category: White Paper
Audience: School Leaders and Network Admins
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Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is hugely popular in the education sector, with free apps and cheap Chromebooks revolutionising the learning environment.

 

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Internet access management made easy for Google Schools

Over 30 million children - more half of primary and secondary school children in the United States - use Google education apps like gmail and docs, with Chromebooks accounting for more than half the mobile devices shipped to schools.

Google continues to surpass Apple and Microsoft as the technology of choice in classrooms across Australia and New Zealand, cornering the local market through an expanding ecosystem of channel partners. New Zealand joins the United States and Sweden as markets where Chromebooks are ranked as the leading device used in schools.

What is a GAFE School?

Google Apps for Education (known as GAFE or G-Suite) is a suite of free productivity tools for classroom collaboration.

Learn more: Google Apps for Education

Network login using Google accounts  

Family Zone Education Solution integrates directly with Google to enable schools to understand student internet use, and to manage website and application access from our easy-to-use cloud interface.

Using School Manager to identify the student by their Google account on any given device allows Internet access to be tailored by Google group membership and time of day. Schools can thereby ensure that content accessed during class-time is lesson related. Students can log on to the school network using their existing Google username and password on any device they may use during the school day. 

When a student logs into a Chromebook, the Family Zone Chrome extension notifies School Manager to apply Internet filtering according to the Google Groups that student belongs to. Internet usage reporting by individual student and Google group This allows schools to easily apply filtering rules such as ‘Block Facebook access for students during lesson time.’
 
If the student is accessing G Suite on another browser or device, such as Safari on an iPad, School Manager presents the student with the familiar Google login page followed by the Google permissions screen within their web browser to allow authentication. 
Classroom US.jpg

NTERNET USAGE REPORTING BY INDIVIDUAL STUDENT AND GOOGLE GROUP

Family Zone Education Solutions provides schools the visibility needed to educate safe and constructive student behaviour associated with being a responsible digital learner.

Internet use can be viewed on an individual student or group basis, with alerts and reporting for online activity that breaches school internet use policies. This approach enables schools to take a proactive approach to educating digital citizenship by addressing issues with individual students as they arise.  Appropriate network use can be outlined in the school’s Student Internet Access Agreement and any behaviour contravening the agreement can be discussed with the student.

This transparency enables schools to adopt an open approach to network use by using visibility and alerting to highlight and respond to inappropriate behaviour. Creating a high trust environment supports student engagement and can improve learning outcomes.

 

SETTING INDIVIDUAL INTERNET ACCESS FROM GOOGLE GROUP MEMBERSHIP

Family Zone Education Solutions empowers schools to create a digital learning environment that transitions from being highly protective in the early primary years, to one that supports self-managed learning for mature students.

Shared device content access can be made safe for early primary students while opening up wider content access for those students authenticating with their Google account. In addition, Google SafeSearch can be enabled for both Search and YouTube on a Google group basis. For junior school students, access to Google search can be redirected to a child-safe search engine such as kidrex.org.

 

SAFE INTERNET ACCESS ON ANY WIFI NETWORK

Introducing leased Chromebook programs can raise objections from parents who would otherwise choose to not provide their child a wireless internet device due to Internet safety concerns.

Family Zone Education Solutions supports schools to address these concerns by ensuring Internet access is made safe on any wireless network the Chromebook joins. Internet access can be filtered for student devices on their home wireless network or any public WiFi network such as you’d find in cafes and libraries.

Using School Manager to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from the Chromebook to the school’s Internet connection enables student Internet access to be routed through the school’s Family Zone appliance where Internet safety policies are applied.

Such an approach ensures that students cannot access inappropriate content on these devices,  regardless of the WiFi network they are connected to. Should a student be found engaging in cyberbullying, social media access on their device can be blocked both within and outside school hours.

 

SUPPORT FOR GOOGLE CLUSTER SCHOOLS

Schools that belong to ICT clusters that share resources among themselves can benefit by Family Zone Education Solutions making student mobility between cluster schools seamless.

Students from cluster schools can be given network access by simply adding the Google user domains of fellow cluster schools to the School Manager configuration. Appropriate access can be ensured by using the standard filtering controls. Students visiting from other clusters can easily gain access to the Internet with their BYOD device when visiting shared facilities (such as a Makerspace lab).

 

SUMMARY

For schools adopting G Suite and Chromebooks, Family Zone Education Solutions provides an integrated and easy to use solution for understanding internet use and managing appropriate access. Students are identified on the network using their Google login credentials which allows  filtering policies based on group membership, and records all internet use against their account. Family Zone Education Solutions integrates seamlessly with Google directory to make internet access management simple.

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