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My school is using Go Guardian Teacher with student devices this year. We are a fully online school. I was wondering if anyone who uses Go Guardian had any advice or best practices. I have completed their online training but I would like to hear what those who have experience using the program have to say. Any tips or best practices you can share?
Thanks so much for any advice and ideas!
I am not an expert at it but I would definitely say to use the Scenes option. If you apply a scene to a class then students can only visit or open tabs for what you have in advance allowed. If there is a research project to be done (i.e. many websites that could not be known in advance that need to be used by students), then just remove the scene for that class period/day.
Thank you Joanne!
I was a little bit wary of using the scenes since it does restrict them so much but it is nice to hear that it has been helpful to you!
My district has used it for several years now and it is a great tool for one-to-one devices. I make sure to leave the chat open and always start the year explaining that it is not just a "Got ya," but another way for me to see if someone is struggling or give instant feedback. It allows me to communicate to individual students on a personal level in a way that does not call them out. I may reach out and message something like, "You look tired today," or "Is everything OK? You don't seem like yourself today." Coming out of the pandemic, it allows students to ask me questions without having to raise their hands and feel on the spot. In addition, it allows me to pause the class and reteach something when I notice a misconception.
I agree with Joanne scenes is a wonderful tool. Over the years depending on the class or students I have limited the number of tabs students can have open, been able to copy, paste and block popular game websites students have been on instead of working. I also like the feature of being able to open a web site for a student. Having taught in Middle School for many years, I have also had a few occasions where I have locked student devices who ignore me and just want to watch a movie or play a game. Although this rarely happens, it allows teachers to take control of the virtual classroom and help focus student learning back to the task at hand.
Thank you Darilyn! I like the approach of telling students that it is a helpful tool not a "got ya" tool. That was something I was worried about so I am going to make sure to take that approach as well. It is helpful to hear your experience with it I have had struggles in the past of getting students to open a certain tab or follow directions to click on areas of a website so I can see how opening a new tab for the whole class and being able to annotate their screen will be really helpful. I wasn't sure if I would use the chat feature since we have chat in our Zoom sessions but hearing that you have found it helpful I will give that a try to see if that boosts engagement with students who are not answering in Zoom chat.
Thanks so much for sharing!
If it's the same bookmarklet issue that I found posted in a tik tok, but by the time I found it, GoGuardian had fixed that loophole. GoGuardian may not be perfect, we've been using it for years and I still get random sales and marketing emails and calls, but they are responsive to issues and requests.
------------------------------Daven HunsickerTechnology DirectorInvest Collegiate (Buncombe)AshevilleNC------------------------------
------------------------------Elizabeth DavisOriginal Message:Sent: 09-18-2023 13:47From: Marisa PetragliaSubject: Go Guardian Advice
------------------------------Marisa Petraglia Instructional Technology Coach/Secondary Education TeacherPennsylvania Distance Learning Charter School------------------------------
Thank you for the info! Students are really good at finding loopholes aren't they! I'm glad to hear form Daven they have closed that loophole.
------------------------------Marisa Petraglia Instructional Technology Coach/DirectorPennsylvania Distance Learning Charter School------------------------------
We use GoGuardian (both admin and teacher). My teachers use GoGuardian both with and without scenes. They mostly use scenes when there are big stakes testing involved, like midterms or unit exams. The rest of the time they watch and comment. Students start using it at the middle school, so by the time they get to the high school they are very used to it. One caveat - make parents aware of what you are doing. Last year the middle school had an incident where a teacher turned on GoGuardian and was observing a parent's laptop while they were at work. The student had signed into the laptop with their school account, and the parent was unaware that there was the possibility of being watched. The parent was incredibly gracious about the incident but they worked at the local hospital and things could have gone VERY badly. Otherwise, it works as intended and staff are happy with it. Every once and a while a staff member forgets to shut the class down and the student wanders into their next class with it still running. I've gotten in the habit of created teacher's classes for them so that I'm a co-teacher. In cases like that, I can shut the class down or I can also help troubleshoot if the teacher is having problems. If you sync from Google, don't forget that anytime you change an OU, you need to sync that OU with GG or those students will not be available. Reach out if you have any other questions.
Yes, it is a good idea to make sure parents know about the program and what it is about. There was a concern in our district as well. I assured the parent that GoGuardian only tracks what is being done through the student's account and not on other accounts' activity. It is important that the student logs out of their account and closes the browser window when finished.
I always ask my teachers to schedule their classes so that they don't forget to end a session. I also ask that teachers add their school-level principals to their classes so that they can access the class any time if needed. As the GG admin, I can also sign in as any of our teachers to see a class and troubleshoot stuff.
Wow this is good to know thank you, Suzanne! I will make sure we add that info that students should make sure they are using their school-issued computers and make sure they are signing out at the end of the day to prevent this. Good idea about having teachers add you as a coteacher! I can see how that would make troubleshooting easier.
Thanks for your help!
Many great suggestions have been shared already! Using scenes, even if it is a "no distractions" scene. We began building one our first year and adding games and various websites to it. We were able to push that option to teachers as a pre-built scene through the admin portal. I think we have it up to 215 sites at this time. The Allowed Scene can be trickier and seem frustrating at initial use; however, we use that for testing in Canvas. I notice that you said you were fully online. Depending on the age of your students, I would recommend the ability to force open tabs to get everyone on the same page quickly. You can also present your screen and lock students into it using the presentation feature in the Call Students section. If you lock students in, they cannot go to another tab until you turn it off. They may have to hit refresh once or twice after you stop presenting.
I hope these help!
My instinct after doing their training was to do the "Blocked" sites list over the "Allowed" list so i'm glad to hear this is what you have found is best too after using it.
Thank you for the advice!
We use GoGuardian grades 1-8. My biggests tips and takeaways:
I hope this is helpful, Beth
Thank you Beth! This was all so helpful.
I know some teachers were really excited about the idea of closing tabs when students were off task so this is helpful to hear this perspective. I can see how this might do more harm than good.
Thanks for the question. I never would have thought to ask it. We are using GoGuardian for the first time as well. These tips have been helpful. Thanks!!
I have found so much great information here! I'm glad you have found this useful as well.