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IT4K12 – Google Apps for Education

November 17, 2016

erac_it4k12_gryGoogle Apps for Education – Chris Sabiston – New Westminster –


These are my notes from various sessions at IT4K12 in Vancouver Nov 17-18, 2016. They may be messy, and there may be mistakes, and it may not be exactly what the presenter wanted to be remembered, but it’s what resonated with me. – Todd

Chris led a bit of a discussion first around why school districts either went to G Suite, or are looking at G Suite. Answers varied from groundswell of teachers wanting to use it, to cost, to available storage, etc.

But one of the chief challenges has been around professional development to help folks get started. Not only that, in many schools the network infrastructure wasn’t up to snuff. Some solved this by attaching an AP to the Chromebook cart, so where the cart is, the AP is.

Fascinating, lots of people had lots of questions, comments and statements, and Chris did a good job of facilitating the conversations. May not be exactly where he was planning to go, but it was where the room wanted to go…;)

Reliability and Security is very good. No advertising, or collecting of usage details. Google does not own your data, share, reveal or sell it to third parties. Google employees cannot look at your data without your permission. Google Apps has satisfactorily completed a SAS 70 Type II audit. Google promises 99.9% uptime, and your data is backed up multiple times.

In BC there is legislation that specifically does not permit private student information to be stored outside of the Province.

Some school districts have teachers and students using G Suite, even though it is not officially supported. Some teachers have experienced that using G Suite for student writing has really made a difference, because of the comment / response in a shared document. Revision history is amazing. Peer editing, collaborative writing.

G Suite Challenges

  • You need a reliable Internet connection. Although Google is adding more and more offline capabilities
  • You need to use a modern web browser
  • Privacy and Security process
  • Management of classrooms / GAFE student accounts

Conversation was wide and varied around the room on how things were implemented, or not implemented. Fear of using it, fear of not using it.

Some conversation around some of the other tools to be used with G Suite, like cloudlock, hapara, etc.

Some quick questions regarding when students leave, how long do we keep their data for? How do they move their data to their own account? Keeping them in an OU by year of graduation, makes it easier to manage their accounts when they leave. Also talked about owners of documents, like library@ is an owner of district-owned docs, or curriculum@, etc.

Curious about auditing accounts, and how we review information. Cloudlock came up a few times as a great product for auditing the systems. Some recommend that when someone leaves the jurisdiction, ie. a teacher, that ownership is changed on all of their documents. Even if you change their password, if they have shared a file or group of files with another account, then that other account still has access to the documents, AND MAY be able to make changes.

Many commented on the effectiveness and helpfulness of Amplified IT in getting things setup, and reviewed, and can provide all kinds of expertise and advice.

Thanks Chris for leading this conversation!





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