Have you gotten a chance to take a peek under the hood of the Chrome Management Console yet? If not, you should know there are dozens of different tweaks you can make for your devices and enrolled users.
In fact, there are so many out there, we were curious which were being used the most. We took to the web and spoke with over 30 educators from around the country, to see what policies are being used the most!
Managed bookmarks is pretty self-explanatory—it allows you to push a list of bookmarks to any devices in your domain (including mobile). On Chrome Devices and Chrome on Desktop, the bookmarks will appear in a folder on Chrome’s bookmark bar. The user cannot modify the contents of this folder, but can choose to hide it from the bookmark bar. On Chrome Mobile, it will appear as a folder within Bookmarks.
This setting allows you to choose which Chrome apps and extensions to block or allow. You can allow or block them by clicking Manage to launch the Blocked apps and extensions dialog box.
“I utilize the “all but approved apps” setting, and then roll things out as needed by Organizational Unit (example: our online ASL and foreign language courses require the ability to record audio and video—which is something we don’t allow in general use situations). It runs the gambit.” —Thom, New York
Domain Name Autocomplete at Sign-In
This setting enables you to choose a domain name to present to students on their sign-in page. When you enable it, students won’t need to type the “@domain.com” part of their username during sign in.
This setting is off by default. To turn it on, from the drop-down list, select “Use the domain name, set below, for autocomplete” and enter your domain name. This is convenient (and arguably essential) for younger students who may struggle with entering the full domain every time they log in.
Under Device Policies, you’ll find options for guest mode login, as well as sign-in. The first thing you’ll want to do is restrict sign-in privileges to only users registered to your domain—this way your devices can’t be signed in from personal Google accounts, only those associated with your district.
Next, disable Guest Mode, which is pretty self explanatory—users can’t sign into the Chromebook in any way, except with a valid login. This way, all the activity taking place on your district’s Chromebooks will be strictly under the policies you set in the Admin Console.
Erase all profile info, settings, and state after each sign-out
This one is big on saving space, and keeping your devices fast—it specifies whether enrolled Chrome devices delete all locally-stored settings and user data every time a user signs out. Synced data safely remains in the cloud, but not on the device itself.
“We work with shared Chromebooks on carts, and one school year our entire fleet was filled with local data—less than 500mb free on each Chromebook—and we realized it was because profile data wasn’t set to clear after each log out. There were over 100 user accounts on every device! Things cleared up quickly once we set this policy.” —Jonathan, Texas
If you’re breaking in the admin console for the first time, or you’re interested in more essentials for managing student devices, you should read on in our post Make back-to-school a breeze with these 5 Google Admin Console tips.