Google Apps Parent FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is Google Apps for Education?

Q: Why Google Apps at Wilmington City Schools?

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

Q: Is student email safe?

Q: What is CIPA?

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 Wilmington City Schools?

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.

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.

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 contracted to 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.

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.

Q: Is student email safe?

A: Yes. All student email accounts are filtered to block mail from KNOWN sites with harmful or illegal content. 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.

Q: What is CIPA?

A: CIPA is "Child Internet Protection Act".  Wilmington City Schools 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.