Chrome Education or Hapara?

I often run into two reactions when discussing Chromebook management with schools. They are:

  • Should we use Chrome Education or Hapara to manage our Chromebooks?
  • We don’t need to manage our devices with Chrome Education as we are using Hapara already.

These reactions stem from the common misconception that Chrome Education and Hapara are competing products. This is fundamentally wrong, rather than compete, they actually compliment each other.

What is Chrome Education?

Chrome Education is a device management tool – used for efficiently deploying devices. The main features are:

  • Lock devices so only your school domain can log on (and disable guest mode).
  • Push apps and extensions that are going to enhance learning.
  • Enforce policies such as Google Safe Search, various YouTube settings and disallowing Incognito mode.
  • Allow kiosk apps on devices to create a secure testing environment.

 

Chrome Education reduces the time and money that schools will spend managing their devices. Each license costs approximately $40+GST, which is great value as it lasts for the lifetime of that device.

What is Hapara?

Hapara advertises that their platform can view, organize and monitor digital learning.

Hapara is a classroom management tool. Hapara does not push any settings out to devices, rather it is paid for per user (approx $4-6 per year depending on what features you get).

Whilst Google Classroom is a free tool that now allows work to be differentiated, allows easy access to student work and gives the teachers the ability to drive powerful learning discussions, Google Classroom does not give the same visibility over what the students are viewing on their device (nor does Chrome Education). So in my opinion, this is the main benefit of using Hapara – and in a lot of cases, it is worth the investment solely for that functionality.

What should schools do?

If you are using or considering using Hapara, it is crucial that you manage your devices with Chrome Education. This is because one of the first settings that you should put in place is to only allow those within your school domain to log in to the devices. The second thing you should do is disable Guest Mode. If these settings are not applied, students will be able to log in to the Chromebook with a personal account or as a guest. If they do this, they simply will not show up on the Hapara dashboard. Obviously, the students learning/device is no longer visible and that could be considered a waste of money. Therefore, it is critical that all schools using Chromebooks should invest in managing the devices through Chrome Education. Each school then needs to make the decision as to whether they see the value in monitoring student devices in regards to what students are viewing (in real time), in which case they should also invest in Hapara as well.

If you would like to talk more about your options in regards to managing your Chromebooks, feel free to get in touch.

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