At GoGuardian, we’ve been hard at work delivering the best experience we can for the schools that rely on us to keep their students safe, focused, and engaged. Some educators have asked why they haven’t seen many new features in our Admin product, while, at the same time, we’ve been releasing updates and new features in several of our other products. We realized that we haven’t adequately communicated the work and changes that have been going in to the Admin product, because they’ve mostly been on the backend — focusing on scalability and stability — and are not always visible to users. This blog post is going to do two things: explain what we’ve been doing over the past year for our Admin product, and what you can expect in the near future.
Educators and school officials need the best information possible to make educated decisions about the needs of students and school devices. Should they be blocking apps and extensions? Is a student using their chromebook for school work or for playing games? Let's take a look at the top apps and extensions students are using to find out!
By number of users
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The top apps and extensions installed by students on their school devices are primarily Helper apps. These apps and extensions assist students with doing homework, viewing documents, making videos, blocking ads, and generally improve a student’s ability to interact with the digital landscape. Some other popular Helper apps that students have installed are listed below:
- SpeakIt! (6)
- Adblock Plus (7)
- Shorten Me (8)
- Google Slides (12)
- Announcify (14)
- Quick Note (16)
- Calculator (17)
By Time Spent
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|5.||ToonXn Offline Games|
When ranked by time spent in an app, the list begins being dominated by Games, with 14 of the top 25 apps falling in that category. This is likely a result of the number of Chromebooks that students are allowed to take home. Take home devices allow students to play Games during off-school hours which quickly inflates the usage hours. Some of the other top Games apps and extensions are listed below:
- Fancy Pants Adventure (7)
- Running Fred (8)
- N3rd Boy (9)
- Tetris Online (13)
- Spider Solitaire (14)
- Don't Fall (19)
- Cut the Rope (20)
Comparing the two lists, it seems that most Chromebook users are using the same apps and extensions, particularly ones that are helping with productivity and schoolwork. Fewer users are installing and playing app-based games, but the games they are playing are being used more often. Both of these conclusions make even more sense when viewed through the lens of these Chromebooks being school devices, as most Chromebooks are being used specifically for school day work, with fewer being taken home.
Also, since all these devices have GoGuardian monitoring and filtering software installed, the school administrators have the ability to limit students' access to games and time-wasting apps based on whether they are at school or at home.
What This Means for Educators
This analysis provides some big take-homes that we can use to improve K-12 education. First, it is immediately apparent that games are a large part of students' app usage. Thus, educational games will be HUGELY beneficial in education, as students are already using their school devices for games in their free time, so why not make them educational? Second, school officials are going to need good tools to prevent students from getting distracted at school, not only being able to block websites, but also the ability to identify and block gaming apps and extensions (hint hint GoGuardian).
About the Analysis
All of the data used in this analysis was obtained through schools' use of GoGuardian services in compliance with federal and state privacy laws and this data is presented as de-identified data. This data is obtained after schools have applied various filters to their students' activities, including limiting what sites and apps they can use. To analyze the data, we started with all apps used by students, and then analyzed them - because we are nerds and love data.
Posted in Safety
If you're looking for the old Help & Support tab, it no longer exists… but, have no fear! We have upgraded our dashboard and created a new help center. Up at the top of the screen, near where you would click to log out of your dashboard, you will see a new button! Click on it, and explore!
We built a really awesome help desk, and are integrating a new chat system. We’d really love some feedback from you on how it’s set up, the content that is included and anything else you want to tell us.
Please go browse some articles, let us know if we’re missing anything, tell us how pretty the page looks, and learn a little bit about GoGuardian that you may not have known previously.
Posted in Products
In January 2015, what were K-12 students watching most on YouTube?
Top 5 YouTube Videos for Students
These top videos were viewed significantly more than others, suggesting that the most popular videos are consistent across a large percentage of the student population. The normalized graph of views per video confirms this, as the number of views quickly drops after the top 10 videos.
Posted in Learning