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Muscogee County Schools Monitor Devices With GoGuardian

Having levied a local sales tax to buy more than 31,000 Chromebooks, a school district in Georgia has deployed the GoGuardian app to allow parents to monitor the devices, filter content and control when they're used.

(TNS) — For the past several years, revenue from the 1-percent Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST), approved by Columbus voters, has paid for more than 31,000 Chromebooks to provide each Muscogee County School District student with a computer device.

To help ensure those devices are used for schoolwork, MCSD uses a Web-based application called GoGuardian. It includes content filtering, monitoring and controls for teachers and parents, as well as communication between them.

"GoGuardian enhances teacher effectiveness and student learning, while also providing parents with better understanding of their children's online viewing and searching habits, along with controls outside of school hours," Michael Barden, MCSD senior director for technology learning and support, told the board in his presentation during its monthly work session Sept. 11. "In summary, GoGuardian acts as a supplementary tool to ensure that our students are making responsible decisions in the digital realm."


MCSD has been using the GoGuardian Teacher App since August 2021. Starting this school year, the GoGuardian Parent App is available for free to MCSD parents and guardians.

It allows them to view their children's screen time and browsing history on the district-issued Chromebooks. It also sends them alerts when their children access inappropriate content on those devices.

"Through the use of this app," Barden said, "we hope to encourage more open and honest conversations between parents/guardians and students that will result in safer practices and responsible browsing habits."

Barden noted that no Web filter is perfect.

"Therefore," he said, "MCSD encourages parents to regularly monitor their children's use of the Internet while at home, whether the student is using a system-owned Chromebook or a personal device."

The GoGuardian Parent App allows parents and guardians to monitor and control their children's use of an MCSD-owned computer device during non-school hours. The app can provide a daily summary of the student's browsing history (the top five apps, extensions, documents and websites visited) and a 30-day report. It also can show the interventions a teacher performed that were related to that student's online activity.

"We aim to create a greater sense of transparency with student browsing to help bring about a greater sense of accountability on both the parent's/guardian's and the student's part," Barden said.

The app also allows parents to activate on-demand or scheduled controls that pause their children's Internet use on the district-owned device during non-school hours.

But the app doesn't enable monitoring of a computer device that isn't owned by the school district. It also doesn't allow the unblocking of websites restricted by district filters.


To download the GoGuardian Parent App, iPhone users should visit the App Store, and Android users should visit the Google Play Store. Search for "GoGuardian Parent" and tap the download button.

After the app is downloaded and installed, open it and enter the parent or guardian email address that is registered with your child's school and associated with the Parent Portal.

Open that email on your phone for a link to log in to the app. Tap "Verify" to open the app.

If you don't have access to your email through the device you used to log in, tap on "Login with verification code" then copy and paste the code from the email into the app.


The federal Children's Internet Protection Act of 2011 requires school districts to monitor and filter student computer devices and accounts connected to the Internet. MCSD selected GoGuardian to provide this service for the administration, teachers and parents.

The initial cost to install GoGuardian on MCSD's Chromebooks was $137,829. GoGuardian licenses are bundled in the managed services purchased with new Chromebooks, Barden told the Ledger-Enquirer.

©2023 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.