Google Apps for Education
MCPS will implement Google Apps for Education. The implementation of Google Apps is part of the District’s 21st Century Initiative. The Google Apps platform provides a suite of tools for employees and students that support enhanced collaboration.
Google Apps for Education:
- allows students and employees to access the suite of Google products, including Google Email, Docs, Drive, Sites, Calendar, etc.
- extends the learning environment beyond the classroom by providing online sharing of files and file storage space that is accessible to students and employees anytime, anywhere.
- allows for enhanced collaboration and communication among students and employees in the classroom, within a school/district, or with other schools across the globe.
- provides students and employees with the opportunity to build an electronic portfolio of shared documents, images and other files
- provides educators with additional ways to assess student learning and offer effective differentiated instruction.
The successful implementation of Google Apps for Education is focused on three main strategies:
- Migration of MCPS employees to Google Apps. The District has purchased Google accounts for all MCPS employees. Each account will include an email address and access to other Google applications. The district is developing a plan to migrate employees from Outlook Exchange email to Google email during the 2012-13 school year. The benefit of using Google email is that it provides much more capacity for email storage and allows employees to house and access email and documents anytime, anywhere (because they are stored in the cloud). All employee email will be archived for three years. The migration of employees to Google email will be focused first at the high school level, only because all high school students will have access to Google accounts and email during the second semester as well.
- Provide email for high school students. During the first semester, Google will be provided for about 600 high school students involved in a Google pilot. All student email is monitored and filtered, and archived for one year. Students’ access to school email and cloud-based documents is a privilege that comes with responsibility. It is important for students to remember that accounts provided by the District are to be used for school purposes and are regularly filtered and monitored, as are such accounts in an individual’s place of employment. Teachers will be talking with students participating in the pilot about appropriate use of Google accounts when the students receive their MCPS-assigned Google username and password. It is our intent to allow all high school students to access their Google accounts and email during the second semester.
- Integrate Google Apps into the classroom. The District will provide future training for educators to support and encourage the use of these tools in the classroom.