Let’s Go GoGuardian!

by Lyndsey Jennings and Brandon Stuck

One-to-one has officially arrived, and with it, the implementation of the program GoGuardian.  The district’s use of this cutting edge technology is aimed at making the transition to daily Chromebook use in the classroom as well as at home easy for both students and staff.

Go Guardian is an extension to the Google Chrome browser. The extension acts as a web filter, classroom management, and video conferencing tool for teachers to connect with students who are learning at home.

“It also allows teachers to have some level of control by setting up classrooms and assigning students to the classrooms so that when students are in a teacher’s classroom, they can actually control what websites students can and can’t access,” explained Tech Director Rob Heath.  “So if the students are taking a test and teachers only want them to only be on a single tab, teachers can only allow students to only access that one [specific website].”

“GoGuardian is an incredible site that helps me instruct both my in-person and remote learners. I can easily call my remote learners and share my screen with them via this site. I love that I can see students’ screens in order to help them,” English teacher Mrs. Barron stressed.  “I can open a tab for them if they are struggling to find the assignment, I can provide immediate 1:1 feedback on their work via the chat feature, and I can send important class announcements to the whole class during independent practice without verbally interrupting everyone. It also helps me to analyze students’ work habits and help them to become more productive.”

Social Studies 9 teacher Ms. Schuster has embraced the features of GoGuardian as well.   “I like that GoGuardian assists me when I need to give guidance to the at-home learners. I can see their screens which display their work as if they are in the classroom and redirect them if needed.” 

Mr. Butchy, band director, also finds GoGuardian to be an asset in allowing him to easily assist learners both in the classroom and at home.  “I like being able to see if a student needs help with anything that they are doing online. It’s also great to be able to send an announcement to the whole class,” he explained.

“I love being able to not only see my students’ screens but to be able to push websites to them on it,” Mrs. Leali, chorus teacher, added.  “I can open the same tab for everyone at once and it makes finding resources so much easier. In the COVID times, this is really convenient and allows me to assist and guide my students without being close to them, or even in the same building if they are remote.”

As a web filter, Go Guardian flags many items every day. This can range from random captions on a Netflix show to a picture on Instagram. “It does a nice job of being a web filter without being intrusive and without blocking too much stuff that you need to get to. And it does a very nice job of reporting.  The reports I get out of it are really detailed and easy to read and use,” explained Mr. Heath. 

The program will be imperative should the school have to switch to a virtual setting. 

“The video meeting is a very nice tool for teachers to use to connect with students who are virtual this semester,“ Heath said.  The teacher simply places a call to students, who are then prompted to join the class.

Junior Brandon Stuck has some experience with using GoGuardian from his home.  “The virtual meeting is very nice. It is easier than Google Meet or Zoom due to the fact that you need to personally join the call if you’re using one of these platforms,” he noted.  “With GoGuardian, the teacher can directly call you and you can accept from a window that shows on your screen/  You can see the WiFi connection as well as other features that differ from Google Meet and Zoom.”

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