Chrome Extension and Student Devices

CHROME-EXTENSIONS

We’ve made some changes this year with how students access and use Chrome extensions.  We discovered last year that many students were using certain Chrome extensions to circumvent our internet filtering and logging.  The extensions in question were various VPN and proxy extensions.  Many of these extensions have legitimate uses outside of the education realm.  We tried blacklisting the ones we knew about, but, there are new ones published all the time.  So, the only way to ensure that students could not access these was to block all extensions and allow only whitelisted extensions to run on student devices.  This is a change we really need to make to ensure that we are complying with CIPA.

This does not mean that students cannot use Chrome extensions, however. But, they must now get them approved before they can use them.  Here’s the processes we’ll be using — depending on device and scope.

For students using Macbooks, the request for the extension must be approved by a teacher.  Teachers should email any member of the technology department with the name of the of the extension — a link to it from the Chrome Store would be great, too — , who needs it, and the date when needed.  Assuming the extension in question is not one used to circumvent filtering/logging, etc… we will whitelist the extension in the Google Management Console.   If the request is for all students, we can push the extension out via Casper.   If the extension is for a small number of students (less than a grade level), we will create a Self Service package that students can use to install the extension.  My team will need at least two days notice to complete these tasks.

For students using Chromebooks, again the request must be approved by a teacher. Teachers should email any member of the technology department with the name of the of the extension — a link to it from the Chrome Store would be great, too — , who needs it, and the date when needed.  Assuming the extension in question is not one used to circumvent filtering/logging, etc… we will whitelist the extension in the Google Management Console. If the request is for all students, we can push the extension out via the Google Management Console.  If the extension is for a small number of students (less than a grade level), it will be available for students to manually install from the Chrome Store.  As with the Macbooks, my team will need at least two days notice to complete these tasks.

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