Help Students Stay Focused Online

Photo: Michael Dales on Flickr

As you wrap up the semester with final assessments, projects, and focused online activities, here are a few tips to help ensure that students are using their Chromebooks in the most productive ways. You'll still need to employ good classroom management strategies like circulation and proximity, in concert with these tools to help students focus on learning.

Students are taking a test or completing an assignment in Schoology, and you don't want them to browse the web, take screenshots, or open other tabs.Use the RFSD Schoology Kiosk App. This is a 'lock down browser' app that limits students to the Schoology website for a session until they shut down and restart their Chromebooks. Students can access the app from their Chromebook login screen under Apps, before logging in as usual. Details here.
Students are working in Google Docs or other non-Schoology sites, but you want to reduce distractions and monitor students' web activity so they stay focused on the learning activity during class.Use gScholar, which allows you to see what tabs students have open. You can also access students' browsing history, close tabs remotely, and take screenshots of students' Chromebook screens during class. To get started, click here (then bookmark it). More details in my last blog post.
You want to 'push' a webpage to all students' screens at the same time, so you're all on the same page (literally!)Use gScholar's 'Open URL' function, which opens a new tab on your students' screens, then allows students to navigate and explore within that tab. This may be especially helpful for elementary teachers to quickly get all students to the same website, no clicking or typing involved. To get started, click here (then bookmark it). Then click on a class and Tools at the top, and select 'Send URL.' More details in my last blog post.

Email Ben if you would like support or have questions about any of these tools!


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