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Home News Google Chromebook quirk forces a decision: Parental controls or schoolwork?

Google Chromebook quirk forces a decision: Parental controls or schoolwork?

Some parents who bought Google Chromebooks for their kids who are learning remotely amid shutdowns related to coronavirus are facing a frustrating choice: Protect their children with secured browsing or allow them access to their schoolwork.

Parents have been expressing concerns on Google forums that parental controls can’t be activated for students who use their school email addresses to log in to Google Classroom on a personally owned Chromebook.

When school districts all over the country announced they would be shutting down to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, many parents purchased the relatively inexpensive Chromebooks to mimic students’ classroom experience. Parents can use Google’s Family Link app to control what websites and apps are accessed, when, and for how long for accounts identified as minors.

But some students can’t sign in to their schoolwork using those accounts. They need to use school-provided email addresses to access their schoolwork through Google Classroom — but Family Link parental controls can’t be synced to those school accounts.

The Family Link app doesn’t allow parents to add a school email account for the same child user, preventing the child from using different logins to sign into the Chromebook and Google Classroom. It seems the situation is forcing parents to choose between what the Family Link website itself called “healthy digital habits” and accessing learning materials for school during the lockdown, a choice many in the forum and those who spoke to Digital Trends do not think they should have to make.

This issue has been documented dating back to 2019, but more parents are noticing the issue now that remote learning is essential.

“This needs to be sorted ASAP,” wrote one user. “There is no point having a family link app if then all that can be bypassed because of a school account.”

One parent told Digital Trends that placing the same universal security restrictions on his home network like the ones on his child’s school system would prevent adults from viewing blocked sites and restrict when they could use his devices for their own work schedules.

Google Classroom and a few school district representatives Digital Trends reached out to did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

It’s not clear how many users are dealing with this situation. The Chromebooks in this particular scenario are owned by the families, not issued by schools and sent home with students to work with during the coronavirus lockdown.

While parents and teachers do not want kids’ learning disrupted in these uncertain times, the Google forum is full of adults who want students to be able to learn safely.

User Andrew Peterson wrote: “Unfortunately, I can’t add a separate classroom profile for him because, understandably, the school does not allow his classroom account to receive external emails (and thus his classroom Gmail account does not receive the invite to join the family group).”

One possible solution is to have a school district’s IT administrators place some form of “parental” controls on all the students’ school email addresses, which would at least partially take care of this problem. But coordinating a baseline for all the district’s families may be difficult even if the controls mimic what the school network already has in place.

Another solution would be to have Google modify its Family Link app settings to allow more than one account to be associated with the same child, using the same parental controls.

Of course, there is one straightforward workaround for parents: Just don’t use a Chromebook.


Five essentials for working from home

So we are all stuck at home. The majority of the planet is. You are not alone, although it sure feels lonely. The ozone layer is recovering and there’s less trash in the streets, and we are staying at home, mostly eating…But what if you have to work on top of all that munching? Watch the eating too, by the way, it’s harder to lose it than to pile on!But back to business. If you have to organize your work from home, there are obvious obstacles and we want to offer you a few tips on how to avoid them.Battle bad mobile signal receptionThis is enemy number one in a quarantine. If you have any trouble with getting a steady signal, you are guaranteed to have problems. So it might be time to invest in a mobile signal booster and forget you ever had a problem like that. You can visit here for more details and choose the one you find appropriate for your living arrangements. In the time of quarantine, we have to keep a basic level of comfort. What if you want to take your laptop to the balcony, or your terrace and work from there, to get a little fresh air, but all you get out there is lousy 2 bars? Not productive, is it? So long story short, make sure you have the proper gear for top-notch connection.Organize a time-table for yourselfEven if you are a child of chaos, bringing some order into your life will make it more productive. Quarantine is probably not a typical situation for you, so you are facing a challenge of battling your lazy side and getting any work done during those 24 hours. As much as you may hate the word “organize”, you still need to do it. Start with your alarm clock. And make it realistic. You don’t need to run and catch the train, you don’t need to be stuck in traffic, so just pick a realistic hour to wake up every working day without fail. This will help you set your whole day in motion.Organize your working spaceLet’s face it, not all of us have separate studies in our house, where you can close the door and get some peace and quiet. If you have a family, the chances are your spouse and/or your kids are going to need their space too. So try to have a small area, preferably with a table, where you can work with no one disturbing you for at least 30-minute spurs. It’s a realistic time for children to give you privacy and for you to get something done. When you have a designated area for working, your mind will switch into work-mode much faster and give you better chances to be productive.Make sure you have enough foodIn the beginning, we warned you about over-eating, which is pretty much eating out of boredom and nothing else. But, making sure you have a sensible breakfast, lunch and dinner is important as well. Your brain will thank you, and you will get much more done, without wasting time on constant snacking.Be sure to take breaks in between work assignmentsWe don’t mean slacking off, just some 10-minute intervals between 30-45 minutes of productive work. It will give your brain a chance to reboot and your muscles to stretch. This will increase your energy and give your back a chance to relax a little. No downside!So there you have it, hopefully, our advice will help you get your quarantine life back on the working track and save you some precious time. But above all, stay healthy and safe, protect those around you and remember, you are not alone!EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Motorola Smart Safe – Monitor your items and get real-time alerts

Many of us have things around the house that we need to keep safe and secure. Be it prescription medicine, cash, jewelry, or something else, we need them locked up and stored safely.The natural thing to do is to purchase a safe, and that makes sense. But, it’s 2020 and that means things are smart. So, why not get a smart safe… one that keeps an eye on your valuables but can also be controlled via an app?The Motorola Smart Safe, just $109.99 in the AndroidGuys Deals Store today, is the perfect way to store your passport, special keys, and other valuables.24/7 security monitoringInternet connected via WiFiIntelligent alerts sent to your smartphoneRemote open from almost anywhereComes with free Motorola smart safe app – iOS and AndroidComes with 2 back-up keysAudible alarm, motion detection, vibration and shock monitoring, 3-axis tilt sensingBuilt-in humidity control systemWater-resistant keypadBattery life estimated at 3-months to 5-months (4xAA Alkaline batteries not included)Not only is it intelligent and secure, but it features a built-in, water resistant keypad and sealed, humidity resistant compartment.Smart technology monitors activity around the clock, and audible and visual alerts help to deter theft. Connect the Motorola Smart Safe to WiFi and receive real-time security alerts and intelligent reminders via free app.AvailabilityReady to get smart about storing your valuables? Head to the AndroidGuys Deals Store today and take advantage of the limited time discount. Priced only $109.99, it’s currently $20 off.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

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