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Google Apps for Education Policy

As described in the overall mission of the North Colonie Central Schools, “all students are provided with the opportunity and support to engage in relevant, challenging work that supports their academic and social growth and development.” Within this context, we believe that technology can be a tool for learning that enhances our classrooms, expanding our instructional repertoire while maximizing the relevance of opportunities for our learners. In the 21st century, understanding and using technology is an integral part of virtually every aspect of daily life. As part of the district’s responsibility to prepare students for their futures, with diverse technologies which support teaching and learning, we have spent the summer preparing our infrastructure for the launch of “Google Apps for Education”.

What is “Google Apps for Education”?

“Google Apps for Education” is a free suite of educational tools which will allow teachers, students, and teams the opportunity to create, collaborate, and share in real time, while providing online storage for easy access from any device that can connect to the internet.

Why implement “Google Apps” in NCCSD?

  • To provide the students of NCCSD with access to current technology applications and free tools designed for collaboration with other students and teachers
  • To give students the ability to work on their documents both in school and at home – anytime and anywhere, from any internet connected device
  • To help students work collaboratively, engage in peer-editing of documents, and publish for an audience beyond their immediate classroom
  • To facilitate “paperless” exchanges of works between students and teachers

How safe is NCCSD’s “Google Apps” domain?

  • Two of the most common questions regarding “Google Apps” are security and privacy. As part of the North Colonie implementation, students will be provided with restricted “Google Apps for Education” accounts. These accounts will allow students to communicate and collaborate with their teachers and fellow students in a variety of ways.
  • NCCSD has implemented a secure domain for student accounts within “Google Apps for Education”. A student account allows the student to send and receive emails to staff members and fellow students, but does not allow them to send email to any email address outside of the district or to receive email from outside of the district. Should the student attempt to email anyone outside of the district, it simply does not get sent. Should someone outside the district attempt to email the student, the email will be bounced back as undeliverable.
  • The email data is owned by North Colonie Central School District and its students–NOT Google. Google is simply a service provider.
  • NCCSD takes security and privacy of student information very seriously. NCCSD “Google Apps for Education” is a “walled garden” and is not accessible by anyone outside of North Colonie, so your child will be able to work and collaborate in a safe and secure online environment.

Does Google have access to any personal information on students?

  • The privacy terms of “Google Apps for Education” guarantee a free and “ad-free” environment. Google does not request any personal information from students and the district does not provide personal student data (example: birthdate, address, phone number, grades, test scores) to Google. Personal information about students within NCCSD systems is governed and protected by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which NCCSD adheres to in all respects.

Will the district filter “Google Apps for Education” content?

  • Yes. NCCSD has a strict content filter for all internet traffic, including Google Apps. While at school, staff will monitor students’ use of Google Apps. Parents/guardians will need to monitor their child’s use of Google Apps while at home. At all times, whether at school or home, students are responsible for their adherence to North Colonie’s Code of Conduct.

What is the district doing to protect my child from cyber bulling while he/she is using this online resource?

  • Our district recognizes that bullies aren’t limited to the schoolyard. We take a proactive approach to educating staff, students and parents about the issues surrounding the use of today’s technology tools. Technology tools can enrich our students’ educational experience, and it is our expectation that all students will use such tools appropriately.
  • The district will ensure that Google filters are set to actively flag inappropriate words and/or words that are deemed threatening in any way.
  • The district will uphold all procedures as outlined in our Acceptable Use Guidelines.
  • The district will continue to provide resources to staff, students and parents on how to protect against cyber-bullying.
  • In return, we request parents support by using these tools to guide their child in becoming a responsible digital citizen.

What if we don’t have a computer, how is my child going to get to use Google Apps?

The use of “Google Apps for Education” is part of the instructional program and students have opportunities to work in their Google Apps account during the school day. Because NCCSD “Google Apps for Education” is safe and web based, it can be accessed from any device with a web browser (e.g. computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone). Teachers will make every effort to offer students alternatives if computer availability at home is limited, including, but not limited to access to classroom computers and tablets, computer labs, and libraries.

Can I see what my child is doing on Google Apps?

There isn’t a specific parent view account available; however, parents are encouraged to explore Google Apps with their children by logging in together. You will be able to have your child log in to his or her Google account at home and show you what they are currently working on in class.

How do students and faculty access NCCSD’s “Google Apps” domain?

Student access to the secure NCCSD domain within Google Apps is via Every student with an active user account on the NCCSD computer network will have an account within the NCCSD Google domain.