Thursday, March 17, 2016

Student GAFE Account Misuse: My Idea for Dealing with This Issue

In the past year, my district's Chromebook usage and purchases have gone through the roof.  This is a good problem to have.  As expected, we are experiencing growing pains.  As more and more teachers have jumped head first into using Chromebooks on a daily basis, students have learned to use them for learning and, at the same time, transformed them into a weapon of mass distraction.  

As one would expect, the apps most frequently misused are YouTube and Hangouts.  We have had great success using Hangouts as a tool for facilitating academic conversations across classrooms and school sites.  But as you can predict, students will use Hangouts to "communicate" with each other when they should be working.  YouTube, as well, is known for drawing students off task.

Misuse of these apps can make classroom management a nightmare.  Teachers have become frustrated to the point where they want me to disable these apps completely.  With these teacher complaints in mind, I came up with this solution.  I created a "Probation" sub-OU in the Google Apps Admin Console.  When teachers identify students who are "repeat app misuse offenders", they send me the names and I move them into the Probation sub-OU.  When placed into this OU, their account is fully functional except for the "fun apps" such as YouTube, Hangouts, Google Cast, etc.  They can use Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Classroom, etc.  

Since implementing this idea, misuse of the apps have been on a decline.  We have used these misuse incidents as teachable moments for digital citizenship.

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