March 9th, 2020
As educators and IT administrators prepare for potential school closures due to COVID-19, we’re offering free access to advanced Hangouts Meet features, as well as resources and tips for teaching classes remotely.
School admins can quickly and securely prepare their school’s Chromebooks to go home with students. Educators and IT administrators can also use our new resource hub to find materials, resources and training—and we’ll continue adding to this as additional resources become available.
Sending Chromebooks home for distance learning
Chromebooks are remotely managed through the Google Admin console, making it simple for schools and IT administrators to deploy and manage thousands of devices. There’s no need to manually install software or login to a device to apply settings—admins simply flip a switch online and every device updates its applications and settings automatically. These same capabilities make it just as easy to turn school-based Chromebooks into take-home devices for students to continue learning in times of need. For example:
- Admins can restrict device access to managed student accounts or set “Off Hours” when students can sign in with their personal accounts.
- Admins can use URL blacklists to set content restrictions and ensure that students are held to the same responsible-use policies off-campus as they are inside their classrooms.
- Admins can enable and share applications for notetaking, podcasting, video editing, book publishing, drawing, screencasting, and other schoolwork—providing digital tools and resources to fill in for classroom supplies they might not have at home.
For more information, please see our Help Center article on how to prepare Chromebooks for e-learning days at home.
Using Chromebooks from home
Even if students don’t have WiFi access, they can still access their Google Drive, and edit and save files offline. And they can take photos, record videos and screencasts while offline on Chromebooks. That said, we are acutely aware of the fact that millions of students globally don’t have connectivity at home, which is what inspired us to create Rolling Study Halls, a program that equips school buses across the US with WiFi, devices and onboard educators. We also recently announced device lending program for schools in Japan and we’re continuing to work with partners and local communities to see what else we might do to help support students without access at home.
Sharing information with families
Some parents and guardians might not be familiar with Chromebooks and how they differ from other computers. Admins might consider sending an email home to parents to explain how these devices work and how to assist students at home with our Guardian’s Guide to Chromebooks. It’s important to share information with families about how to manage their child’s Chromebooks, including activity controls and which sites to allow. Schools might also consider sharing their distance learning plans with families so they might know how to support the transition.
More resources for distance learning
As families support students learning at home, we’re here to help. You can find resources on our distance learning hub and watch our webinar on distance learning strategies. We’re inspired by the ideas and resources educational leaders are sharing with each other. To continue the conversation and share your own ideas, join us on Google Educator Groups, Twitter and Facebook.