Soon our classrooms will begin using using Google Apps for Education, a managed on-line environment designed specifically for educational institutions. Google Apps for Education (GAfE) provides students and educators the best real-time collaboration and productivity tools Google has to offer, allowing students to create and store their digital work in one easily accessible location throughout their academic career, extending learning beyond the school day and the traditional classroom.
Google Apps for Education is a “self-contained” cloud-based system, created for each unique school district that offers safer, reliable, monitored student and teacher interaction where our District has much greater control over data and security when compared to regular or personal Internet resources. For example, Rocklin Unified students and teachers gain 24/7 access from any Internet connected computer or device to powerful collaborative writing tools like Google Docs inside of the Rocklin Unified Google domain, while other features typically available to regular Google accounts like video chat, personal profiles and social networking have been restricted to teachers only.
Rocklin USD recognizes that technology and Internet resources offer a wide variety of educational opportunities and tools that can enhance learning. Our District has taken reasonable steps and deployed technologies in the interest of keeping access to harmful and inappropriate to content from students, however this is not a perfect science and it may be possible for students to access content intended for adults. Appropriate behavior and responsibility are taught and expected of students when using these resources, and Rocklin Unified believes the benefits outweigh the disadvantages as these tools and skills are essential to 21st century citizenship, transforming learning, increasing student engagement, and greater subject mastery for our students.
To foster greater access to GAfE, the myriad of other online educational resources and the world’s knowledge, your student may also use a Chromebook or some other form of a mobile wireless computing device in class. Please review with your child/student and sign the Rocklin USD Classroom Mobile Device Rules & Agreement form distributed by your teacher.
Further information about GAfE can be found here: http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/benefits.html
Facts about Google Apps for Education
GAfE is used by many of the world’s leading educational institutions, including universities, secondary and primary schools. Many public and independent schools around the world and all over California are using GAfE right now.
GAfE is completely free for schools and does not contain advertising anywhere within it.
Many of GAfE apps such as Google Docs and Gmail are familiar to many students and parents.
How will Google Apps for Education enhance my child’s learning opportunities?
GAfE allows up to 50 teachers and students the ability to collaborate on documents simultaneously. This type of collaboration has been impossible in the past.
GAfE works on just about any web accessible device. This allows our students to continue learning beyond the classroom with the ability to access their content at any time.
Students and teachers can work in teams, sharing calendars, documents and collaborating ideas to learn more effectively, just as will be expected of them in their careers and life.
What should I be aware of?
GAfE allows students to communicate and store information in both public and private spaces online.
Unlike many other web services GAfE acknowledges it’s users as the owners of content they produce and store.
GAfE does not share any data or user information with any other party unlike other Google products such as Gmail.
Your child will be provided an email address as part of the GAfE package. Elementary students (K-6) will be limited to sending and receiving emails to and from other students and teachers inside Rocklin USD only. However, some classes may participate in teacher monitored activities like PCPals or ePals that require specific access to outside email addresses to enrich the learning experience. If as a parent you choose to opt your student out of using these powerful 21st century learning tools please contact your teacher or schools administration.
GAfE terms of service can be read here. http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en-GB/terms/education_terms.html
We will be working with students to educate them how to effectively use GAfE in a productive and responsible manner. We also feel it necessary for parents to be aware of new technologies such as GAfE and encourage you to be proactive discussing and exploring it with your child. Please feel free to contact me personally if you have any additional questions.