Is GoGuardian Helping or Hurting our Education?

Tech department explains their reasons to getting GoGuardian after interview and survey.


On Thursday, January 13th, 2022, a filtering app was sent out to the students of Northmont High School. While about 98% of responders said GoGuardian is hurting our school, do they really know the reasons as to why the app was installed? 

Most schools receive aid through local, state, and federal funds. Our federal funding now says  we must filter the iPads at all times, whether at home, or on campus. While our iPads were already being filtered on school grounds, they were missing the component of filtering when students were at home. This is the reason behind GoGuardian. 

Before sending the official app out to the high schoolers, it was first installed in the middle schoolers’ iPads. Instead of automatically sticking to GoGuardian, the middle school students were divided into three groups. For each group of students, a separate filtering app was installed to test which app would be more beneficial for students’ education. After a few months of experimenting, the results were clear; GoGuardian was the best option because it helps keep students safe, and it gave staff flexibility to change the restrictions based on issues with electronic education to help when students learn and complete assignments.   

What is GoGuardian?

GoGuardian is an app that “unlocks the potential of educational tools like YouTube, and sets digital guidelines for students to follow. GoGuardian’s flexible YouTube filtering options allow you to curate your school policies to block comments, keywords, and live chat, as well as entire video categories,” according to GoGuardian’s website. This app also allows the tech department to block and unblock websites that help or hurt our education.


(Picture of the GoGuardian logo and name)

This will be a permanent app for at least 3 year; however, changes to the filter happen weekly since education can be found in the least likely of places. 

How Have Student’s Responded? 

A big issue for students is getting out of the habit of using Google images. The tech department is well aware of this issue and is looking for ways around it like the three websites, Kiddle, Photosforclass, and Pics4Learning, that were sent out to students. These links allow students to access kid friendly pictures for projects and other educational purposes. Nothing about Google images has restrictions. As most users know, looking up one thing could cause images of something far different to appear. Images might not be blocked in the future, but as of now, they are blocked until our district can find another way to filter images. 

A survey about GoGuardian was sent out to the students of Northmont High School. The goal of this survey was to collect students’ opinions and see how much they knew about the app. The sixth question in the survey asks “Are you aware the district had to get this app in order to comply with regulations so students can keep the iPads?” Only 50% of responders said yes. After an interview with the head of the tech department, Mrs. Mangen explains, “we wouldn’t be able to use money to pay for the purchase of the iPads if we didn’t get some type of app that filters both at school and at home. Our school didn’t have a choice in the matter.”  

Why GoGuardian?

The tech department did months of research to find what app was best to use. They made sure it didn’t negatively impact our education. While knowing some issues will pop up along the way, in the end, this was the best action to take because the issues can be altered if requested to an administrator. 

As difficult as GoGuardian can be sometimes, it is truly there to benefit our education. Getting out of our previous ways of working on projects outside of school will be a struggle at first, but after working out the kinks, GoGuardian will help filter out negative content, help students focus, and keep our iPads. Mrs. Mangen, along with the rest of the tech department, were forced to find the sweet spot to balancing our education, safety, and funding. A filtering app wasn’t their choice; it was their only option. 

(Venn diagram showing what needed to be kept in mind while considering GoGuardian)