Google Apps for Education: Frequently Asked Questions
About GAFEWhat is Google Apps for Education?
LCPS Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by LCPS. GAFE will provide the ability for LCPS students, faculty and staff to communicate, store files and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from school, work, or home, all within a secure online environment.
How will it be used?
Google Apps will provide the ability for students and teachers to store files and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from school or home within an online environment. Google Classroom provides an environment for teachers and students to more easily share and provide feedback on resources used in the classroom. The use of these tools is optional, and intended to provide an approved and supportable alternative to “consumer” Google accounts.
What can my student/child do with Google Apps?
Students will have easy access to their documents, spreadsheets, and presentations within Google Apps. In addition, students will have additional storage for other files they may need to use between home and school. As the use of LCPS Google Apps continues, there may be other features that are added within Google Apps for Education. You will be informed about any significant changes to the tools your student is using in the secure LCPS environment.
Costs and Fees
How much is LCPS paying for this?
Google Apps for Education is free to LCPS.
What if I don’t have a computer at home, how is my child going to get to use it?
Loudoun County Public Schools supplies access to all web-based resources by providing devices in school and open-wireless Internet access in all buildings for student provided devices. These resources include LoudounVision, Google Apps for Education, StudentVue and Office365. As LCPS Google Apps for Education is safe and web based, it can be accessed from the public library or other places where computers are available. LCPS also allows students in grades 3-5 to take their assigned Chromebooks home.
How will my child access LCPS Google Apps for Education?
With teacher guidance, students must first activate their GAFE account and set their strong password from a computer at school. Once the student has an active account, They can login by:
- Going to the Google Folder in LCPSGO.
- Go to drive.google.com and log in using his or her full GAFE mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password.
- Google Chrome is the LCPS recommended browser for GAFE. Learn more about other supported browsers at http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=33864.
Do these apps work on an iPad or other tablet?Yes. GAFE files may be accessed and edited using a mobile browser or through downloadable apps. Please see Google's support documentation for support of your device.
Can parents use it?
Currently only LCPS employees and LCPS students can access Google Apps for Education.
Can I see what my child is doing on Google Apps?
There is not a Parent View account. Parents are encouraged to explore Google Apps with their children by logging in together. You will be able to have your student log in to his or her LCPS Google account at home and show you what they are currently working on in class, as well as items that have been “turned in” and commented on by the teacher.
Privacy and SecurityOnline security – How protected is my student from outside people?
LCPS takes security and privacy of student information very seriously. LCPS Google Apps is not accessible by anyone outside of LCPS, unless documents are purposely shared. Your student will be able to work and collaborate in a safe and secure online environment.What are the privacy regulations?
LCPS and Google Apps for Education comply with legal requirements for safety and security such as the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Additional information about GAFE security & privacy may be found at https://www.google.com/edu/trust/index.html and additional information at:http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/benefits.html
Who has access to my child’s account?
The Google Apps Terms of Service agreement with LCPS contractually ensures that our institution (students, faculty, and staff) are the sole owners of their data. Google will only access content stored on Apps when an administrator from LCPS grants Google explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use.Does my child retain copyright of their creations?
The same copyright rules apply to content in GAFE that would apply to any other creation, provided the student is the sole owner.What protection will LCPS provide so that my child is not accessing inappropriate content on the web?
There are no advertisements used with Google Apps for Education. GAFE is an online collaboration tool that is accessed using a web browser and requires a login and password.
GAFE in the Classroom
What apps are available and how can I expect my child’s teacher to use them?
LCPS Google Apps for Education will provide students with secure and easy online access to documents, spreadsheet, presentation and communication tools that can be accessed easily from home or school and enhance teacher and student collaboration in the classroom and beyond.Teachers can use Google Docs to facilitate group projects and use the history tool to see the level of participation of each student in a group. Teachers will be able to give feedback to students directly in documents shared with a teacher. Turning in assignments will be as easy as sharing the file with the teacher or submitting it through Google Classroom.
What if another student deletes their work?
The owner is the only person who can delete a document. Once a document is deleted, no one can access it, including those with whom it was shared.
How will Google Apps reflect in their grade?
The use of Google Apps for Education will not in itself impact grades. Consult with your child’s teachers about individual class requirements.
Why is Google necessary for the students; can’t the teachers just answer the students’ questions?
The use of Google Apps for Education is another tool LCPS provides to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, apply critical thinking skills, and work creativity. Teachers will continue to answer students’ questions in the classroom. Google Apps for Education provide students an additional opportunity to ask a teacher questions electronically, helping students learn to communication in a real world environment.
Why Use Google Apps for Education?Why is the school system doing this?
"Digital Citizenship” and “21st Century Skills” are concepts which help teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship and 21st Century Skills are more than just a teaching tool; using these tools can be 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.”What is the value of Google Apps for Education (GAFE)?
Students and teachers can open and edit their documents quickly. No more distractions like USB keys, outdated file attachments, or confusing client software. Anytime, anywhere access Google Docs lets users be productive at school, at home, and even on their mobile phones. Because Google Apps run in a web browser, students can work from almost any family computer without having to purchase new software, and easily upload and share files. Google Apps works on PC, Mac, and Linux computers, and supports popular formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. Files stored on GAFE are always accessible and backed-up online. Google Docs' intuitive commenting feature is ideal for instructor and collaborator feedback. Revision history allows users to review document edits over time.