For Admins: Getting started with Gopher Buddy

What is Gopher Buddy?

Gopher Buddy is a Chrome Extension backed by a G Suite Marketplace App (the Gopher Buddy Service) that:

  1. Extends the reporting powers of the Chrome Gopher Add-on for Sheets to include user sessions that capture username, local & public IP address, start time, and session duration in minutes.
  2. Gives logged-in G Suite users permission-based access to recent session info and device metadata like SN and Asset ID from the logged-in context.
  3. Nudges users to help prevent Chrome devices from falling behind in their OS updates.

Access to Gopher Buddy is bundled as a part of our Chrome Gopher Premium, Gopher Pack, and Labs Unlimited offerings.

Extend Chrome Gopher's powers

Gopher Buddy makes user session details available in the Chrome Gopher Add-on for Sheets.  Includes username, local & public IP address, start time, and session duration — information not available via Google’s admin console or APIs.  Extension only collects data on managed devices and users.

Empower end-users

The end user gets nudges to keep up their OS health. Selected users (defined by OU) gain access to BASIC or FULL device info panel.

Help users keep OS up to date

Clicking “Fix It” from the Chrome Extension opens the chrome://settings/help page and guides the user through the Chrome update process

Control & give access to key device details

Clicking “Show Device Info” gives students, teachers, IT staff access to useful details, depending on assigned access level.  Great for solving everyday problems like: “What cart or room does this Chromebook belong in?”, “Who may have damaged this Chromebook?”, or “What is this device’s serial number or asset ID?”

What users are saying about Gopher Buddy

“Gopher Buddy’s Show Device Info feature is a great tool for staff/students to use when submitting helpdesk requests to provide us with information that will speed up the resolution of issues. This is information that is often not easily available or omitted when submitting tickets. It gives us one place for the end user to check that is a single click away. We also like what we have seen on the reporting side. Being able to accurately see who has been using the Chromebook comes in handy.”

David Bousquet, Technology and Information Services Director, McMinnville School District

“I love the Show Device Info feature in Gopher Buddy.  What I really like is that we use permanent marker to label Chromebooks in carts and sometimes this wears off and teachers don’t know which Chromebook it is and they can look in the Notes field and it will tell them what machine it is because we give them names her like NR-Lenovo4-8.  I also really like how you can see all the info on the device in one spot.”

Darwin Yossie, Technology Director, Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District

“With BASIC device info available to the student, they can check and see if they are the user that is assigned to that Chromebook.  Also, it gives them quick access to the S/N for copying and pasting, if needed.  We also gave employees FULL access to the device info tabs (including recent sessions).  With this info available to classroom teachers, they now have a tool to track down a destructive student that’s causing damage to classroom Chromebooks. I have also used the Single Device and the Single User reports in Chrome Gopher and shared that data with tech integrators/principals/teachers to help track down a device or see who else has logged into it and what IP addresses and are logging into them from.”

Frederick Aldrich, Computer Technician, Pilgrim High School

“I believe that putting device information at the fingertips of students and teachers gives them a better understanding of their device and reinforces the pride in ownership mentality so that they are cared for accordingly. The detailed information (primarily the Asset ID and Location fields) also aid school staff in keeping classroom sets of devices in the same location for inventory purposes and quicker tech support response times. It’s frustrating to get a help desk ticket about a faulty Chromebook and then have to inspect 30-36 devices in a cart or even search nearby classrooms just to identify the faulty device and return it back to its ‘home location’ after it has been repaired. Finally, having accurate details on the current user aids our school staff in quickly locating missing or stolen devices. The Google Admin Console currently lists multiple users and session times (often 10-15 per device) which makes it very difficult to recover quickly. By having precise data on the current user that is logged in, we can find that student and hopefully recover the device before it leaves the campus.”

Rick Lewis, Director of Technology, Brooks County Schools

Get Started

The Gopher Buddy Extension partners with the Chrome Gopher Add-on to unlock usage insights, put device data at staff fingertips, and nudge forward OS version updates on those laggard devices.

In order to gain these new powers, the Gopher Buddy extension must interact with the Gopher Buddy Service, an Amplified Labs hosted API that must be installed, authorized, and configured by a G Suite administrator.

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