7 Ways to Get More From School Chromebooks

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My kids are fortunate to be part of a tech-forward district with, among other things, a 1:1 Chromebook initiative. I hear their stories of how the Chromebooks are integrated into lessons in class throughout the day. My middle schooler is even able to bring her Chromebook home at night. I know this access has given them new skills and new ways of learning and I’ve seen first-hand how it has advanced their engagement and  ability to use technology in meaningful and persuasive ways. (When we try to decide where to order take-out dinner, they often create presentations with Google Slides to persuade me to their choice ☺)

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Top 6 Reasons Schools Should Decrypt Google Traffic

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Schools are increasingly turning to Google services for productivity, collaboration, communication, research, and more. And when they do, the biggest challenge is being able to monitor and filter user activity across that encrypted Google traffic. Once traffic is encrypted (as Google and other services increasingly are), it’s more difficult to get full information on the URLs and activity for your web filtering and reporting. The solution is decrypting Google-bound traffic as a trusted man in the middle proxy. We’ll cover the why first and then get to the how.

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What Your Suspicious Activity Reports Should Be Telling You

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When you’re checking out a new content filtering solution, its marketing materials will probably boast about the filter’s advanced reporting. But the truth is the reporting capabilities of web filter solutions — especially those built for enterprise rather than schools — vary wildly. And if your IT department is managing a network of hundreds or thousands of devices, you can’t afford to spend precious office hours monitoring daily web activity.

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Update on Google Encrypted Services

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Note: The original post has been modified to reflect the latest information and status from our conversations with Google.

Disclaimer: this is a long post, but filtering and accessing Google services is a top concern for our customers, so I wanted to explain things clearly and in detail.

Google is actively moving all of its services to being delivered over a fully encrypted (https) connection. Many of these services have been encrypted for some time and we have made it a priority to work with Google to help them move these services to encrypted connections in a way that allows schools the effective web filtering they need. While we work with Google to create these solutions, we have added features to the Web Filter to work around the issue. One example of this is the failsafe feature that is an option in our Web Filter policies.

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