Student Monitoring to an Extreme: GoGuardian

a students computer shows "GoGuardian"

A student’s computer displaying “GoGuardian” / Photographer: Portia White

As all of you are aware, school looks a little different this year. Being online has its difficulties, but Orcas Island High School and the Orcas Island School District as a whole are trying to make the best of it. On Sept. 29, 2020, Mr. Freeman sent out an email to students and parents regarding questions about a technology filtering program that the school district uses. This service is called GoGuardian.

GoGuardian is used to monitor devices that students are logged into through their school accounts, whether it be on a school-provided Chromebook or through Google Chrome on a students’ personal device. In his email, Mr. Freeman mentions all the ways the school is using this service, “We have chosen GoGuardian Admin and GoGuardian Teacher services to: help protect students against harmful and inappropriate online material, help students stay ‘scholarly’ and more focused when learning online, helping assess students’ progress towards class assignments, and facilitating communication between teachers and students during class time.” The goal is to help students “stay safer” as well as be “more scholarly online.”

Orcas is not the only district that makes use of GoGuardian. Over 10,000 other schools use the services provided by the program, protecting 5.5 million students globally.

OISD is doing everything that they can in order to keep their students safe online. GoGuardian is one of these ways, but the district can not do it without the help of students and their families. At the beginning of the year, the school asked students and parents to sign a “Digital Learning Agreement” outlining the role that technology filters would play in online education this year. The school asks that students as well as their families follow the agreement.

For more information on GoGuardian and the privacy information, you can go to

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