Q. What is Google Apps for Education?
A. Google Apps for Education (GAFE) provides a free and robust cloud-based platform that is a good fit for achieving district teaching and learning goals. GAFE is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by the Homer Central School District. GAFE will provide the ability for district students, faculty and staff to communicate, store files, and collaborate in real time from school, work, or home, all within a secure online environment.
Q. Why Chromebooks?
A. Chromebooks are an affordable alternative to laptops or tablets that allow students to access the Internet and the GAFE suite. Over the past several years, they have had tremendous adoption rates in K-12 education and have proven to be an effective instructional tool. In addition, Chromebooks are sustainable, easy to manage, and low-cost.
Q. Can I choose my Chromebook?
A. We gave students a chance to test various models and provide input on which ones they liked best. We received the most positive feedback on the Asus C202SA for its looks, speed, and ease of use. To benefit from bulk pricing and make setup more efficient, we’ve purchased the same model for all students, factoring student input, durability, battery life, and lower costs to repair.
Q. Can I opt out?
A. Yes. GAFE is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection, and if a student needs to use a Chromebook during school hours, one can be checked out at the library.
Q. Can Chromebooks be charged at school?
A. There are currently no desktop work areas where a Chromebook can be charged. Teachers may permit electrical outlets to be used in the classroom or in the library while using a charged Chromebook signed out from the library.
Q. Can my student leave their Chromebook at school?
A. The biggest concern for leaving your Chromebook at school is charging. Leaving your Chromebook in your locker is only encouraged if it is completely charged. If a student wishes to leave their Chromebook at school, they are encouraged to discuss options with their teachers or the librarian for leaving them plugged-in in the classroom or library.
Q. What about sporting events?
A.Traveling with sporting equipment to locations with low security creates a risk of damage and theft. Student athletes are encouraged to talk with their coaches, homeroom teachers, and the librarian for options of leaving their Chromebook at school for safe-keeping.
Q. Can my student use his/her own Laptop or Chromebook?
A. Yes. While using the district's Internet connection, students' access to inappropriate websites is monitored and blocked. Any disruptions to instruction or other students will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and may result in disciplinary action up to and including banning personal devices.
Q. Can I buy a Chromebook from the district?
A. The funds used to purchase the Chromebooks do not allow resale of equipment.
Q. How are these web-based applications managed?
A. Each Chromebook we provide to students will be a managed device. Members of district’s Technology Department will maintain devices through our GAFE account. As such, the school can preinstall web applications as well as block specific web applications from a centralized management console, from anywhere.
Q. When will this begin?
A. The first week of school - Fall 2016.
Q. What devices can I connect to a Chromebook?
A. Chromebooks can connect to:
Q. Can the Chromebook be used anywhere at anytime?
- USB storage, mice and keyboards
- External monitors and projectors
- Headsets, microphones
A. Yes, if you have a WiFi signal to access the web, all features of Chrome are available. There are a limited number of GAFE and Chrome web apps that work offline, including Google Docs.
Q: What if I don’t have an Internet connection at home?
A. Most district buses are equipped with mobile WiFi, so students can complete work during their commute or download their homework files to work on them ‘offline.’ Chromebooks can also share the data connection of a smartphone. Data charges do apply for connecting to a smartphone.
Q: What are the limitations of Chromebooks?
A. Software available for only PCs and Macs are not compatible with Chromebooks. The Chrome OS is a basic Internet-driven operating system that requires “add-ons.” For any required software, the district will provide computer labs, mobile Laptop carts, or virtual computer labs accessible from Chromebooks to provide specialized software to students.
Q. What about privacy?
Q. What assurances has Google given the district that they will not collect data on my student?
A. The district has a signed agreement with Google based on the terms of this agreement. http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html. GAFE is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA.)
Q. How does Google Apps for Education and the district protect student privacy?
A. Google is a Student Privacy Pledge Signatory.
The Student Privacy Pledge will hold school service providers accountable to:
- Not sell student information
- Not behaviorally target advertising
- Use data for authorized education purposes only
- Not change privacy policies without notice and choice
- Enforce strict limits on data retention
- Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information
- Provide comprehensive security standards
- Be transparent about collection and use of data.
There are NO ADS in Google Apps for Education.
Google Apps for Education services do not collect or use student data for advertising purposes or create advertising profiles.
Additional Information regarding Google Apps Privacy: https://www.google.com/edu/trust/
These laws, regulations and policies assist in protecting our students online:
Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
The school is required by CIPA to have technology measures and policies in place that protect students from harmful materials including those that are obscene and pornographic. This means that student email is filtered. Mail containing harmful content from inappropriate sites will be blocked.
-- CIPA - http://fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.html
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. By default, Google advertising is turned off for Apps for Education users. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. This permission form allows the school to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within the school context. The school’s use of student information is solely for educational purposes.
-- COPPA - http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.shtm
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (name, phone, address, grade level, etc...) but parents may request that the school not disclose this information.
-- FERPA - http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa
- The school will not publish confidential academic records (grades, student ID #, etc...) for public viewing on the Internet.
- The school may publish student work and photos for public viewing but will not publish student last names or other personally identifiable information.
- Parents may request that photos, names and general directory information about their children not be published.
- Parents have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child’s email and Apps for Education files.
Q. Who has access to my child’s account?
A. The Google Apps Terms of Service agreement with the district contractually ensures that our institution (students, faculty, and staff) are the sole owners of their data. Google will only access content stored on GAFE when an administrator from the districts grants Google explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use.
Q. Do Chromebooks come with Internet Filtering Software?
A. Yes. The Internet on Chromebooks is filtered both in and out of the district on any network. The district uses GoGuardian to remain in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act.
Q. Is there antivirus built into it?
A. It is not necessary to have antivirus software on Chromebooks because there are no running programs for viruses to infect. In the event of other malfunctions, Chromebooks can easily be refreshed.
Q. Battery life?
A. Chromebooks have a rated battery life of 6-8 hours. However, we do expect that students charge them each evening to ensure maximum performance during the school day.
Q. How can I learn more about how the safety and security of the Internet?
A. The district utilizes resources from commonsensemedia.org. You may also utilize the site to learn more about protecting yourself and your student.
Q. I have other questions regarding this initiative.
A. Additional questions can be submitted using the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/DinAhIAoP4cd2foJ2