In the twilight of the general purpose computer, I struggle to balance OS X and Apple tech, Google services, parental obligations, and getting work done.
Our iOS and OS X devices are parental controlled -- at least as far as they can be. Among other things, that means Google services are unavailable on child accounts. .
Schools, however, make increasing use of Google Apps . This is how I reconcile that use case with our general approach to home computing:
- You need the username and password for the school Google Apps account. Example: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Create a single non-controlled "homework" account on the primary homework machine.
- Use Google Chrome, not Safari, for this account.
- In Chrome create a user account for each child. For each account, from Chrome Preferences, choose to sync Google. You will be asked for the school user name and password.
- Add gmail, docs and so on to the toolbar.
Each child uses this single OS X account with their own Chrome identity. Use of this account requires direct parental supervision. It is used only for homework. On personal OS X accounts our kids don't directly access our Family Google Apps domain, they use OS X Mail.app, for example, to get email. They don't know their Family Google Apps passwords.