Google Apps for Education

As part of our Computing Curriculum, the school is introducing a service called Google Apps for Education. This new service is powered by Google and we will be joining over 30 million other pupils and teachers that are already using Google Apps at schools around the world. The service will give our children and staff access to a set of tools which will support the high levels of collaboration that are required in today’s classroom to prepare students with communication and collaboration skills for life. Apps for Education will also enhance the delivery of not only our Computing curriculum, but lessons cross curricular. In order to keep you informed and also to comply with data protection legislation and Google’s Terms of Service, we are required to get parental permission. (http://goo.gl/D9GNB6)

 

What’s included in Google Apps?

  • Gmail provides email storage with extra security including restricted incoming and outgoing email Emails by pupils are restricted to within Smmj ONLY. These email communications are monitored and recorded. Pupils will NOT be able to send and receive emails outside of our school community. 
  • Google Calendar enables us to create and share school or class calendars with events.
  • Google Docs lets pupils create and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms. This also allows pupils to work collaboratively on projects simultaneously in real time. Pupils will be able to work on the same document from their own homes.
  • Google Sites makes it easy to collect, share, and publish all types of content in a single website. Pupils will also be using sites to create e-portfolios of work.
  • Google Video is also included for restricted video distribution, as well as other tools that can be added on to the St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School account.

 

What are the benefits of Google Apps and what’s included?

  • Ease of access: Pupils can access Google Apps at anytime, anywhere. It is designed to work in any browser (Google Chrome, IE, Firefox etc.) and on any computer or tablet. This enables access to your email, calendars and documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher alternatives) from school or at home.
  • Online storage means that no flash drives (memory sticks etc.) are required with documents and files stored in Google Docs.
  • Collaboration between students from other classes, schools*, even different countries*, working together on group projects. (*carefully selected and teacher lead). During collaborative work teachers can monitor progress of each child and provide instant written feedback visible to the group or to the individual. This enhances teaching and learning and provides instant and accurate assessment.
  • Online e-portfolios of work can be developed by pupils.

 

Within the St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School Google Apps service:

There will be no advertisements.

  • No external email addresses can contact pupil accounts and vice-versa.
  • All email communication and comments within collaborative work are monitored. This information will be used in conjunction with the behaviour policy.
  • Work uploaded to Google Drive remains the property of the creator; it is not copied or kept by Google if it is removed by the creator.

 

User Access

Pupils will be shown how to use Google Apps within the Computing Curriculum as part of the e-safety. Pupils will be provided with unique usernames and passwords. Parents/Carers are encouraged to explore Google Apps with their children by logging in together and accessing their school work stored in Google Apps. Pupils will follow school policies for appropriate use when using Google Apps. The service is an extension of the school’s own network. Pupils know that the school has the right and ability to monitor user accounts for policy and e-safety purposes as well as having the ability to remove access to some or all Google Apps.

Summary for Parents

Google Apps for Education is an essential part of the curriculum, for all subjects, and pupils without parental permission will be unable to participate in any lessons across the curriculum using Google Apps. All email communication is archived and the school’s Acceptable Use Policy will be enforced. School staff will monitor the use of Google Apps when pupils are at school. Parents/Carers are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of applications when accessing Google Apps from home. Pupils are responsible for their own behaviour at all times. We are excited to be bringing these tools to the school. Don’t hesitate in asking for more information about this decision and how it will impact teaching, learning and communication.

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