How to prepare those Chromebooks for the new school year?
This is usually one of the busiest times for K-12 school districts and IT admins — The first school day bells are approaching and you need to get certain tasks completed ASAP.
That includes getting your 1:1 managed Chromebook devices all set up before handing them out to keen students.
Whether you’ve got 50 or 10,000+ Chromebooks on your plate, this blog will power you through the most important Chromebook management tasks to prepare your fleet for the new school year.
So tune in and get ready to take some notes!
7 Back to School Chromebook Management Tasks to look after:
1. Review/ Set Chromebook device policies
If your school or district typically deploys device-level policies, start by reviewing/ or setting them up for new devices.
This will cover the settings you apply to your Chromebook devices only, regardless of who uses them (even if someone signs in as a guest or uses a personal account).
You may also want to deploy Chromebook managed guest sessions for common areas like school libraries, lobbies, IT rooms, etc.
2. Migrate 1:1 Chromebook devices to new OUs
Now let’s get more user-specific.
In K-12 schools, as students move from one grade to another, you typically need to migrate their devices to new OUs accordingly before school starts.
This determines which settings apply to different user groups (grades) when they sign into their managed Google Account on ANY Chromebook device.
To migrate your Chromebook devices to different OUs, simply log into your admin console and follow these steps.
**Migrating Chromebook devices to different OUs in bulk**
If you’re working with a large number of devices, relying on the admin console alone may not be ideal as it allows you to move only 50 devices to other OUs at once.
To that a 3rd-party tool can help you move your devices to other OUs in bulk, thus saving plenty of time and effort.
3. Chromebook Monitoring and CIPA compliance
As you probably already know, Chromebook monitoring and Chromebook management go hand in hand.
Before handing out those devices, you need to make sure those Chromebooks are CIPA compliant.
That typically entails managing things like content filtering and monitoring online activity.
To ensure Chromebook CIPA compliance we recommend:
- Internet filtering: Automatically block URLs and Web categories as mandated by the CIPA’s internet filtering requirements.
- Keyword filtering: Deploy content filtering based on certain keywords or phrases, Ad placement, and link analysis.
- Monitor Browsing: Monitor all searches happening on your organisation’s Chrome devices.
- Safe Search :Apply safe search for Image and videos sites that contain obscene or harmful content to minors, or child Pornography. (You can use Google SafeSearch for Images.)
- Monitor YouTube browsing: Audit Chromebook YouTube Browsing activities and see what students are publishing on YouTube.
- Downloads: Manage domain-wide downloads (With the ability to remove files downloaded in Chromebooks).
P.S: Some of these controls may require a 3rd-party tool.
We’ve added links to how you can achieve some of them using GAT — If you’re using a different Chromebook management tool, please make sure you set up these controls from there.
4. Set up Chromebook Security:
Securing your Chrome OS fleet against viruses, malware and cybersecurity hazards is another important CIPA requirement and a general prerequisite.
That’s why we’ve created a separate mini-guide on the subject to help you cover all its essential areas.
Checkout our Admin’s 5-minute guide to Chromebook Security.
5. Deploy Chromebook Geolocation Tracking:
Tracking and managing the location of your Chromebooks is pivotal.
This prepares you ahead for any Chromebook device loss and/or theft incidents and allows you to remotely disable compromised devices to better protect your students and domain.
As this information is not available in the admin console, an accurate and reliable Chromebook management software can help you cover this area.
6. Manage your Chromebook Asset/Inventory:
This is one of those tasks that will save you plenty of time and effort throughout the year.
Ideally you’ll want to:
- Track who has which Chromebook device
- Use Chromebook Asset tags
(Nifty Hack: Use Asser Tiger’s tags, but put them in Google Workspace. That way even if they get peeled off, you can still identify the device)
- Keep record of any accompanying accessories you give out with devices (Charges, Chromebook Case, etc)
- Track loaned Chromebooks given out temporarily while other devices are in repairs.
Asset Management System: You can use an asset management system to simplify this task and keep things more streamlined — Checkout Asset Tiger, it’s FREE and perfect for larger Chromebook deployments.
7. Track Chromebook Device Maintenance:
Speaking of repairs (which we all know are super common once school starts), you’ll want to make sure you’re tracking:
- Maintenance cost catering to broken Chromebooks.
- Insurance details for your fleet.
- Chromebook Licenses ( purchased and displayed in the Google Workspace Admin panel).
Et Voila, now you’ve covered the 7 most important back to school Chromebook management tasks and can start handing them out safely to your students ! 🙂
So which Chromebook management tasks do you struggle with the most? — Drop us a message here and we’ll blog more about it.