In recent years, whether it be using interactive tools or videos to aid teaching or conducting classes entirely online, a lot of schools and teachers are using Google Workspace for education. But with such extensive use of online platforms, a lot of problems have come to our notice. Let’s check out 3 solutions to common problems in Google Workspace for education.
Why is Google Workspace for Education Not Working?
Before we dive into the solutions, let’s take a look at the Google Workspace for Education issues. Since Google is first a business looking to make profits, and Google Workspace is a product, your kids’ data is being used for their gain and advertising. And even apart from the ethical issues, it's very easy for kids to get access to 18+ content with GWFE.
While the advertising and data concerns are a huge problem with a lot of tools on the internet, especially with kids it can have much more detrimental effects. Even just a simple Google search can lead your kids to pornography websites and 18+ content and you can’t control what kind of ads you get even on educational websites.
Even if a child is using Google Docs for an assignment, their search features give them access to look up explicit images, whether intentionally or unintentionally and even having Safe Search options does not stop this.
Kids can also learn profanity and curse words while using the Dictionary features, which show up synonyms for words that might be harmful to children. It's hard to monitor children all the time, especially in a school setting. It's important to limit their exposure to these things, and, unfortunately, they are being exposed to an educational setting.
Furthermore, apart from ethical concerns and explicit content, it’s also much easier for kids to play games or watch videos during school time with Google Workspace. It does not block these options and kids can waste hours being distracted with all that is online, and end up not paying attention in class. These are just a few reasons for Google Workspace Education problems.
3 Solutions to Common Problems in Google Workspace for Education
Even though there are a lot of problems with using Google Workspace for education, in a lot of cases it’s still the best option we have. Many schools and teachers have no other option than to use Google Workspace either due to a school policy or even just because it’s so convenient to use.
So we have to take precautions to prevent these problems. Here are 3 solutions or precautions you can implement in your classroom to protect the kids.
Install an Ad-blocker
To stop explicit ads (or any ads for that matter) from popping during a Google search or watching a tutorial on YouTube, add an ad-blocker extension to all the Chrome browsers in your classroom. There are plenty of free ad-blockers out there that stop any ads from any sites from popping up.
This way, while you can’t stop Google from collecting your students’ data, you can still prevent unwanted ads or explicit content in school.
Block Certain Sites from the School Network
If your school has a network engineer or an IT administrator, get them to block access to certain URLs like 18+ websites and pornography sites. This way you can prevent students from not only watching content they shouldn’t be watching, but also prevent them from playing games or being distracted in class.
The great thing about blocking off sites from the network itself is that even if students are on their phones, they cannot access these sites.
Use Safe Doc
There are a lot of precautions to take when it comes to internet safety in schools and for education and not all schools have the resources for a certified network engineer. This is where using Safe Doc can come in handy. No matter how qualified your IT department is, using Safe Doc allows you to control how your students use the internet and interact with each other with the click of a button.
It provides a centralized way to control how your students use GWFE. Whether it be disabling the explore feature on Google docs, blocking YouTube during certain hours, or preventing cuss words from showing up on Google search, there’s a lot you can do with Safe Doc.
It’s a one-stop solution for all your Google Workspace problems when you are using it for education. There are a lot of different features and options that you can choose and pick from. Safe Doc works with schools to fix any loopholes or issues that may arise with Google Workspace for education and finds solutions for each of them!
We hope these 3 solutions to common problems in Google Workspace for Education have helped you create a safer environment in your classroom. With proper precautions in place, we can create a safe space for our kids online.