Wednesday, March 7, 2012

TECH TIP #22–Google Security

TECH TIP #22 –Security

To: All Portage Public School Employees
From: Technology Integration Specialist
Date: March 5, 2012
Re: How secure are my students using Google Apps?

You’ve been exploring more and more with technology – AWESOME! However, you know that with exploration come questions. These are questions from you, your administrator, students and particularly parents. You need to be prepared with answers especially with chatter of late regarding Google’s new privacy policy and what it means to your web presence and history as you interact with their services. Today’s tech tip should help you.
What is the policy?

Google’s privacy policy changes DO NOT impact our agreement with them in regards to Google apps for staff or student use. That privacy policy remains unchanged. The data belongs to us and Google does not use it as a part of their ad sense or other revenue or research initiatives aimed at commercial gain. The full policy can be found at It is important for you to read this to educate yourself in their policy. Note: If Google were to modify our agreement, we’d, of course, reevaluate our use of the platform. However, from a privacy policy standpoint, Google apps for education is safe and secure.

So what does that mean to you and your students in the classroom?

  1. You need to make sure you read the PPSNet User Agreement and review it with your students. This is something you should before beginning a technology project as a reminder to students the expectations. Each student should have this on file already. If you have concerns, check with your office staff. Here is a copy of the agreement:
  2. Before starting your Google project, you should contact Jessica Winstanley and Kelly Jensenius to help you solidify your project and/or provide tips and tricks.
  3. As with any project you introduce for the first time, you should always contact your building administrator so they are aware of your plans and aren't surprised by parent calls.
  4. Next it is in your best interest to contact the parents to let them know your intentions. This will give them the information they need and alleviate possible concerns. Here is a letter you can personalize as well as an additional voluntary contract to the PPSNet agreement to help communicate expectations for Google Docs.
  5. Start small – you don’t have to use ALL the features of Google Apps. Don’t know WHERE to start, but want to? Ask for our support! Jessica Winstanley and Kelly Jensenius are available to help guide you.
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