SD62 GAFE FAQ for Educational and Support Staff

Originally Created: November 21, 2015

Last Modified: November 25, 2015

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This FAQ has been designed to help teachers and educational staff make the best use of Google Apps for Education with their own students, and to inform them regarding the procedures that we have to support their use of GAFE. This is intended to be a living document that will develop over time as more questions are encountered.

We would like to thank the participants of the Google Summit on November 20th and 21st 2015 who helped to formulate the initial questions that resulted in this FAQ.

Below is a summary of the questions covered in this FAQ, with links to the detailed answers:

  1. How do we request a staff google account?
  2. How do I request a google account for my students?
  3. What do we do if a student forgets their GAFE password?
  4. What features of GAFE have been enabled for my students?
  5. What kind of information are students and staff allowed to put into the GAFE system?
  6. How do I get Chromebooks for my students?
  7. What types of Chromebooks are we currently buying?
  8. As a district, will we be using GAFE for everything?
  9. If I have an sd62learns.org account, do I have to check two emails now?
  10. Can you print from Chromebooks?
  11. My school doesn’t have wi-fi in all areas. can we still use GAFE and Chromebooks?
  12. How do we add extensions and apps to GAFE and the Chromebooks?

The detailed answers...

  1. How do we request a staff google account?
  1. Accounts for staff can be requested by calling Help Desk at 250-474-9875 or by sending an email to jmullen@sd62.bc.ca, kqumsieh@sd62.bc.ca, or nkowalko@sd62.bc.ca. Accounts are normally created within 24 hours of being requested.
  1. How do I request a google account for my students?
  1. Before a teacher can request a GAFE account for a student, they must have a GAFE account for themselves.
  2. Teachers can only request GAFE accounts for their students if they have reviewed all of the materials related to using GAFE, and they report that they have done so. The following four links summarize the essential materials that have to be reviewed:
  1. An overview of Google Apps http://communicateit.sd62.bc.ca/google-apps/
  2. About Google Apps for Education http://communicateit.sd62.bc.ca/google-apps/about-google-apps-for-education-gafe/
  3. GAFE Privacy and Personal Information http://communicateit.sd62.bc.ca/gafe-privacy-and-personal-information/
  4. Google Apps Acceptable use Guidelines http://communicateit.sd62.bc.ca/google-apps-acceptable-use-guidelines/
  5. Publicly-available Google Apps FAQ http://communicateit.sd62.bc.ca/google-apps-faq/
  1. Once these materials have been reviewed, a staff member requesting an account on behalf of students must complete this form as an acknowledgement that they have reviewed these materials.
  2. Before requesting an account on behalf of a student, the teacher must confirm that an SD62 GAFE consent form has been signed by the student and parent, and has been returned to the school. These forms must be kept in the student’s file.
  3. The teacher sends the list of students who HAVE NOT consented to the Help Desk staff. Within 24 hours, the new accounts will be created.
  1. What do we do if a student forgets their GAFE password?
  1. Teachers can request to have a change made to their accounts that will enable individual teachers to change student passwords.
  2. In order to make a request for this, please contact Nicole Kowalko at the Help Desk. At the time the change is made, the teacher will receive individual instructions on how to reset a student’s password. Detailed instructions are also available from Google at: https://support.google.com/a/answer/33319?hl=en
  1. What features of GAFE have been enabled for my students?
  1. Google Drive (internal sd62learns.org sharing only for Grades 4 to 8, and unlimited sharing for Grades 9 to 12)
  2. Gmail (internal sd62learns.org only for Grades 4-8, internal and external for Grades 9 to 12)
  3. Google docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawing, Forms, Google Classroom, Calendar, Contacts, Sites
  4. Google Hangouts is currently turned off for students, but enabled for staff. We can revisit this in the future, but this is the initial deployment.
  1. What kind of information are students and staff allowed to put into the GAFE system?
  1. Full details on what students and staff are allowed to post in the GAFE system is found at: http://communicateit.sd62.bc.ca/google-apps-acceptable-use-guidelines
  1. How do I get Chromebooks for my students?
  1. A Chromebook is essentially a laptop that is tied into the GAFE system. The purchase of laptops for student and staff use has always been a local (school-based decision). Here are some important things to keep in mind:
  1. There is currently no district plan to provide schools with standard sets of Chromebook carts, or Chromebooks in any number.
  2. Schools wishing to add Chromebooks to their equipment must contact Graham Arts (garts@sd62.bc.ca) to discuss the proposed deployment. This discussion would cover budget, timelines, and support levels.
  3. The average cost of a Chromebook (which includes the laptop itself, and the software to manage it) is about $300 CDN. This includes taxes and delivery.
  4. Once the plan is finalized, Chromebooks will be ordered by the IT Department.
  5. Once Chromebooks are connected to our district’s GAFE system, the can be deployed to schools.
  6. It is important to remember that only students for whom there is a signed consent form on file will be able to use Chromebooks, as they will all require that a user have an active sd62learns.org account.
  1. What type of Chromebooks are we currently buying?
  1. As of November 20th, 2015, our district standard for Chromebooks is the Lenovo N21. The advantages of this Chromebook are its reported durability, and the fact that its camera can swivel, allowing it to be used to as either a front or back-facing camera.
  2. We will periodically review our district standard and update our purchasing guidelines to ensure that we get the best value for our dollar when purchasing Chromebooks for schools.
  1. As a district will we be using GAFE for everything?
  1. The use of GAFE for our school district is covered by our Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA). In our PIA, it is clear that the approved use of GAFE is to support students and teachers in learning. Some examples of intended uses are covered by elsewhere in this FAQ.
  2. As a general rule, learning materials and activities related to learning are approved for use within GAFE.
  3. As a general rule, the administrative side of staff responsibilities must still be conducted within the school district’s regular SD62 Networks, including its email system. For example, staff to staff communications for issues other than coordinating co-teaching should be done through regular school district mail.
  4. Staff having any questions whatsoever regarding the use of GAFE are encouraged to contact the District Principal of IT (Graham Arts) either by email at garts@sd62.bc.ca or by phone at 250-474-9870.
  1. If I have an sd62learns.org account, do I have to check two emails now?
  1. No, you don’t need to check two emails. If you go into your settings, you can have your sd62learns.org emails automatically forwarded to your sd62.bc.ca email address.
  2. While it is possible to have your sd62learns.org email forwarded to any address, for privacy reasons, staff should only forward messages to their established district email address.
  3. For a more complete description of how to forward your sd62learns.org email, you can visit this help page from Google.
  1. Can you print from Chromebooks?
  1. Google does offer a printing solution for Chromebooks. However, there are known technical issues with this system. The IT Department is currently exploring solutions to these challenges, including the possible deployment of cloud-ready printers. At the time of writing (November 21st, 2015), printing Chromebooks is not yet available for sd62learns.org. As we resolve these challenges, we will post an update to this FAQ
  1. My school doesn’t have wi-fi in all areas can we still use GAFE and Chromebooks?
  1. In order to use the GAFE tools on a Chromebook (or any laptop), a reliable wi-fi is needed. You can do some limited things on a Chromebook when out of wi-fi range, but that’s only if a user has signed in on it before, and some of their documents have been synchronized to it.
  2. At the time of writing, November 21 2015, the IT Department is remapping the wi-fi signal coverage in schools. We currently have over 40 wireless access points that we will be deploying in schools between now and June 30 2016. Once these access points are fully deployed, the use of Chromebooks will become much easier in schools with spotty coverage.
  3. It is important to remember that GAFE can be used on any networked computer. Students and staff can use these networked computers in schools to access all resources that would be seen on Chromebooks.
  1. How do we add extensions and apps to GAFE and the Chromebooks?
  1. Our provincial privacy laws compel us to be careful with the use of data that we collect on students. Many apps and extensions collect additional information on the people who use them.
  2. Because apps and extensions can silently collect information on their users, the ability for individual users to add these features is restricted for the moment.
  3. We will be formulating a process for staff to request apps and extensions be added to the district collection. Apps and extensions that do not collect personal or private information can be added relatively quickly, while those that collect such information will have to be evaluated more carefully before they can be deployed in our district’s GAFE system.