General Info


Google Apps Parent FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is Google Apps for Education?
Q: Why Google Apps at Crane R-III School District?
Q: Are there Advertisements on Google Apps for Education like there are in Gmail?
Q: Does Google Apps cost the district money? Do students have to pay anything?
Q: What student information does Google have?
Q: Is student information submitted to Google from the parent permission form?
Q: What will my kids miss out on if I do not give my permission to use Google Apps?
Q: What am I really agreeing to by giving my children permission to participate in the Google Apps implementation? What will my kids gain that they do not already have access to?
Q: What is "Digital Citizenship" and why are you teaching it?
Q: Is student email safe?
Q: Where else other than my home should I expect my student to have access to email and Google Apps?
Q: What will prevent my children from receiving email from people or institutions outside of the school district?
Q: You said that email and content will be monitored by the administration. Who will this be? How will it be monitored? What will be considered inappropriate?
Q: What will prevent students from using this new system to send inappropriate information or bullying each other?
Q: What is CIPA?
Q: What is COPPA?




Q: What is Google Apps for Education?
A: Google Apps is a collection of free online applications. These applications do not reside on the computer, itself, but rather they are accessed through a web browser. This is considered working in the "cloud". The benefit of this structure allows flexibility in accessing documents and projects from ANY computer with Internet access. Staff and students can access their school documents from the lab, the classroom, the public library and even from home!

Google Apps for Education is a special setup of the popular Google Apps, tailored specifically for educational institutions. For example, accounts are managed by the school district (and not by Google) and advertisements are all turned off. Google Apps for Education allows school districts to carve off a special Google domain/area for their staff and students to create, collaborate and share ideas online between each other, as well as provide the framework for sharing across districts.



Q: Why Google Apps at Crane R-III School District?
A: Aside from the flexibility, cost and efficiencies that can be gained using the Google cloud technologies, the applications and features of Google Apps provides us with a framework for embedding the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) within the core subject areas.


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Q: Are there Advertisements on Google Apps for Education like there are in Gmail?
A: No, All advertisements are turned off for schools using Google Apps for Education. Google does not collect information from education users for use in advertising either.


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Q: Does Google Apps cost the district money? Do students have to pay anything?
A: No, Google offers its services free to all public schools and non-profits. Schools and students don’t have to pay anything.


Q: What student information does Google have?
A: Even though Google is not charging a fee for their services, they have provide online data storage and use of Google Apps and to keep all data confidential. Google also agrees not to use confidential information for any purpose related to Google Ads. All Google advertising is turned off for Google education domains by default.


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Q: What will my kids miss out on if I do not give my permission to use Google Apps?
A: The District will fully honor parental choices with regards to permission for use of Google Apps. If parents do not sign the Google permission form, even if it’s just an oversight, student access to Google Apps will be shut off.

This means that these students will not have access to teacher emails sent to class, some class resources and online curriculum.. They will not be able to collaborate and work online with other students in their own schools or in other participating schools in and around the country. They will still have full access to traditional textbooks and paper based tests but will not have full access to newer digital curriculum and instructional assessment tools schools are planning to use. Teachers will accommodate where possible to make up for this loss but students without access to these technologies will be at a disadvantage in both their classrooms today and as students and workers in the future.


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Q: What am I really agreeing to by giving my children permission to participate in the Google Apps implementation? What will my kids gain that they do not already have access to?

A: Google Apps provides email, online data storage, online productivity applications (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, web site publishing, etc...) for Crane R-III students and staff. It’s easy to use and completely free for the District. There are other ways that our schools could provide these technology applications to students but none that are as easy to use while still being free.

One new thing students will have that they did not have before is email and the ability to share documents over the Internet. For example, if a parent wanted to read over that 6th grade report on South America before it’s turned in, a student can now easily share the document using Google’s sharing feature. An Internet enabled email account also means that students (if email access is enabled) can email teachers, parents, other students both in their classrooms and across the country.

Our use of Google Apps will help to create a digitally enabled environment to help students be more engaged and productive in their work as scholars.

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Q: What is "Digital Citizenship" and why are you teaching it?

A: "Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage. " (http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/)

We teach digital citizenship to students to prepare them for the 21st century world. Whether they are online now (Internet, cell phones, social networking, email, etc...), or will be in the future, children need to understand how to be safe, respectful and responsible in our technologically rich world.


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Q: Is student email safe?

A: Yes. All student email accounts are filtered to block mail from KNOWN sites with harmful or illegal content. Email sent and received from student accounts is archived and students are instructed that they have no expectation to privacy when using their school district accounts. Email safety and etiquette are both part of the curriculum now as we introduce new technology tools to our schools. It's safer for students to learn how to use email on our school domain where we can offer protection and guidance than having unprotected accounts which is what most students did before.




Q: Where else other than my home should I expect my student to have access to email and Google Apps?
A: Students would have access to email and Google Apps from any Internet connected computer. This means that were your children to work on their homework at a friend’s house or at the library, they would still have access to their school work, teacher-shared resources and email. As a parent, you have full access to your child’s email and online data as well, just as you now have access to their paper-based school records. We encourage parents to participate in their children’s online world to offer guidance and encouragement.

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Q: What will prevent my children from receiving email from people or institutions outside of the school district?
A: At some early grade levels, we limit student email so that they cannot receive email outside of school-owned domains. As students move into the upper grades, we feel they are able to manage Internet enabled email accounts and these restrictions are removed. Part of our CyberSafety program for students is teaching them to manage their online presence and limit exposure to others by using discretion in giving out their email addresses. However there are also many valid reasons and appropriate circumstances for students to use their email accounts. See our list of Common Sense Internet Rules.



Q: You said that email and content will be monitored by the administration. Who will this be? How will it be monitored? What will be considered inappropriate?
A: While student email is filtered from KNOWN inappropriate sources, there is still a chance that students will be exposed to inappropriate language in an email.

We feel it is safer for students to use the CRANE School District student email system. Our email system archives incoming and outgoing email so that we can monitor student activities and hold students accountable for inappropriate use. Because the District owns the email domain and email system, students can be held to a higher level of accountability and behavior than were they to use a non-school provided email system like Yahoo, Hotmail or any other outside provider. School administrators do not have the right to examine student email on these outside systems and do not have the ability to limit student free speech on these systems when it is disruptive to the classroom. We can monitor student email and limit student actions on own email system when required. We make both students and parents aware of this in our permission forms and in the Internet rules we provide for students and staff. DO THIS

In looking at schools with many years of experience providing email for students, we found that if the school does NOT provide an email account, students will get one on their own. If the school waits until middle school to do this, the majority of students will already have accounts, often without their parent’s knowledge or permission. My experience has been that where schools DO provide school-based email accounts and hold students accountable for their online behavior, students will fully utilize their accounts with few problems.

In terms of what kind of student speech would be labeled inappropriate, we hold students to the same standards in their school-based email and web messages as we would in the classroom. US courts have ruled that schools can limit student speech when it disrupts the learning environment and it happens inside the school or within school-owned publications like email or school papers. Courts have also ruled that schools have no right to do this when student speech happens outside the school on non-school email systems, student published (outside school) papers and web pages.


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Q: What will prevent students from using this new system to send inappropriate information or bullying each other?
A: Even without the advantages afforded by technology, students can say mean things, write nasty notes and act like bullies on the playground. They can do the same things using Google Apps but because their email is archived they cannot cover up their tracks by simply deleting emails or claiming that an email was forged. The use of Google Apps combined with mail archiving allows us to hold students accountable for their online behavior. This lets us provide the advantages these tools offer to the 99.9% of students who will use them appropriately and respond effectively to those who don’t.



Q: What is CIPA?
A: CIPA is "Child Internet Protection Act". Crane R-III complies with CIPA by filtering all student Internet access (including images) in the District and includes the district Internet safety policy in the Rights & Responsibilities Student Handbook. DO WE


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Q: What is COPPA?

A: COPPA is "Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998" (Website). Crane R-III complies with COPPA by addressing these issues with our Staff Acceptable Use Policy, Student Rights & Responsibility Handbook, and the Google Parent Permission form. DO WE

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