Complete Chromebook Management

How to Set Up Google Admin Console: Best Practices

Alex Wagner Alex Wagner June 08, 2016

We get a lot of support questions here at GoGuardian about what the optimal Google Apps Admin console settings. This guide answers those questions, along with one of the most frequently asked questions: Why am I not seeing any data?

I'll start by showing what settings need to be enabled in your Google Apps Admin console for GoGuardian to work properly, but if you’re just here because you can’t see any data, feel free to skip down to the bottom.

Configure Google Admin Console

After both of the GoGuardian extensions have been deployed, a number of settings in the Google admin console must be configured in order for GoGuardian products to function correctly.

Admin Console User Settings

The first group of settings are found in the User Settings area of the Google admin console, the same place where you deployed the GoGuardian extensions.

1. Enable extensions & apps

Because GoGuardian’s products require extensions in order to function, you will need to ensure that extensions themselves are allowed to run in the Organizational Unit (OU) where you have deployed GoGuardian.

Ensure that the Extension box is checked in the Allowed Types of Apps and Extensions.

  • You can find the option for allowing Extensions in the the Apps and Extensions section.

bw-EXT_RQ_extensionbox.png

Enable the option to Allow all apps and extensions except the ones I block.

  • You can find the option for allowing all extensions in the the Apps and Extensions section.

bw-EXT_RQ_allowext_dropdown.png2. Disable Incognito Mode

If a user opens an Incognito window in Chrome, no extensions will be loaded — including GoGuardian’s extensions. Disallowing Incognito mode makes sure that the GoGuardian extensions stay active in any Chrome windows students are using, and that your students stay safer.

  • You can find the option for Disallow incognito mode in the Security section.

bw-EXT_RQ_USR_incog.png3. Disable Developer Tools

It’s possible for certain functions of developer tools to interfere with GoGuardian and other safety precautions you have in place, so it’s best to disable all developer tools on student Chromebook OUs.

  • You can find the option for Never allow developer tools in the User Experience section.

bw-EXT_RQ_USR_devtools.png4. Enable screenshots

GoGuardian Teacher uses the screenshot function in GAFE to power screens and Snapshots. If this option is not enabled, then GoGuardian Teacher will not be able to see the screens of their students.

  • You can find the option for Enable screenshot in the Content section.

bw-EXT_RQ_USR_screenshots.png5. Save your settings

Changes made in the Google admin console don’t get saved automatically -- you will need to click the main Save button in the lower right corner of the active window after making any changes.

  • You can find the Save button in the lower right corner of the Google admin console.

bw-EXT_RQ_savebutton.png


Admin Console Device Settings

The second group of settings are found in the Device settings area of the Google admin console. You can access it the same was as User Settings from before, except by clicking Device settings:

bw-EXT_RQ_devicesettings.png1. Restrict sign-in to a list of users

In order to make sure that only your students and faculty can use your school’s Chromebooks, you need to restrict sign-in access to a list of approved users. We recommend using a wildcard to authorize anyone with an email address in your domain.

For example, if your school’s email address is name@yourschool.edu, replacing “name” with an asterisk ( * ) will allow anyone on the yourschool.edu domain to sign-in.

  • You can find the option for Restrict sign-in in Sign-in Settings.

bw-EXT_RQ_restrictusers.png2. Do not allow guest mode

Disabling Guest Mode will require all users to sign-in to use and of the Chromebooks in this OU. Because only users in your domain can sign-in thanks to Step 1, this combination of settings restricts Chromebook access to only your students and members of your faculty.

  • You can find the option for Do not allow guest mode in Sign-in Settings.

3. Save your settings

Changes made in the Google admin console don’t get saved automatically -- you will need to click the main Save button in the lower right corner of the active window after making any changes.

  • You can find the Save button in the lower right corner of the Google admin console.

bw-EXT_RQ_savebutton-1.png


Google Admin Console Best Practices

 The settings in this section of the guide are entirely optional -- but they are recommended to ensure that GoGuardian Admin and GoGuardian Teacher are working to their highest potential. Some of these options are more suitable for other schools, and you should enable or disable the settings below based on the unique needs of your school.

GoGuardian Settings

The settings in this section are found inside of the GoGuardian app.

1. Force SafeSearch and Safe Translator, and Block Direct IP Access

 GoGuardian Admin includes a set of options that will force SafeSearch for all web searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo for the selected OU. You can also restrict all translations made by Google to be translated in safe language appropriate for students.

Enabling each of these is optional, and we recommend enabling each to help protect students from harsh language, ensure that their image searches are appropriate for school, and to help prevent them from stumbling into websites that should not be looking at.

2. Block Direct IP Access

Additionally, we also recommend enabling Block Direct IP Access, which will prevent students from accessing websites with a direct IP (for example, entering https://74.125.224.72/.) Block Direct IP Access can also help prevent students from accessing websites that they should not.

  • You can find Force SafeSearch, Force Safe Translator, and Block Direct IP Access in the Account Settings page of GoGuardian Admin. To access the Account Settings page, click on the avatar icon in the upper right corner of GoGuardian Admin, and select Settings.
bw-EXT_OP_acctsettingsbutton.pngAccessing Account Settings

bw-EXT_OP_browsingtoggles.png

Browsing Preferences options:

Google Admin Console: Device Settings

The settings in this section are found in the Device Settings section of the Google admin console.

bw-EXT_RQ_devicesettings-1.png

Delete user data after each sign-out

If your students do not have dedicated Chromebooks and use a different one each day, you may want to delete user data upon each sign out. This will help conserve disk space on each Chromebook, and make sure that the files accessible by students are only those they should have access to. While this setting is optional, we recommend using it in cases where it is unlikely that the same student will use the same Chromebook twice.

Caution: enabling this option will delete any information saved to the Chromebook whenever an account signs out of the device. Enable this option only if the data on the device does not need to be preserved.

  • You can find the option to Erase all local user data on each sign-out in sign-on settings.

bw-EXT_OP_deletelocaldata.png


Admin Console User Settings

The settings in this section are found in the Device Settings section of the Google admin console.

Restrict access to other Google accounts

If you’ve restricted sign-in to users on your domain, then students won’t be able to sign-in with other Google accounts. If you have not restricted sign-in, then we strongly recommend that you restrict access to other accounts.

 Important: if a student signs into a non-school Google account while also signed in with their school account, then GoGuardian WILL monitor the tabs opened by the non-school account.

We strongly recommend adding the following URLs to the Google admin console blacklist to help protect student privacy:

  •     accounts.google.com/Logout
  •     accounts.google.com/AddSession
  •     accounts.youtube.com/accounts/Logout2
Add each URL as a separate line.

You can find the option to blacklist specific URLs in the Content section:  

bw-EXT_OP_urlblacklist.png


Why Am I Not Seeing Any Data?

There are a couple of reasons you might not be seeing any data after initially setting up GoGuardian. However, the most common reasons are as follows:

1. GoGuardian was pushed out to an Organizational Unit (OU) of devices and not users. GoGuardian must be pushed out to an OU of users to function correctly.

2. If you have already set up an OU structure with more specific policies for sub-OU’s (e.g., You have set up more specific policies for the sub-OU 12th graders than for the OU High School), the sub-OU’s may not automatically inherit the GoGuardian extension. Directly applying GoGuardian to a more specific OU will usually alleviate this problem.


Have any more questions about using GoGuardian? Check out our FAQ in the Help & Support section of the GoGuardian dashboard, or contact one of our support representatives using the chat box at the bottom of the GoGuardian homepage.

Topics: Technology

Written by Alex Wagner

Alex is the Social Media Manager at GoGuardian, mother of 2 and Texan with an unhealthy obsession with the New Orleans Saints.

 
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