GSuite For Education

The district utilizes GSuite for Education for students, faculty, and staff. This requires that students receive an @franklincsd.org email address.

What is GSuite for Education?

It is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by the Franklin Central School District. This robust service provides the ability for students, faculty, and staff to communicate, store files, and collaborate in real time from school, work, or home, all within a secure online environment. Some of the other components are services you are likely familiar with such as Gmail, Docs, and Calendar.  

If you would like to see how these services differ from your personal Google/Gmail account, please visit https://edu.google.com/products/productivity-tools/

What is Google Classroom?

It is a component of GSuite for Education. It is a blended learning platform for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. Teachers may also set-up each classroom to automatically email parents/guardians a weekly summary of their student's activities

Why are we utilizing this service?

1. GSuite for Education is free.
 
Free is good for schools and parents/guardians. It is good for students as they go off to college and have more than enough costs to cover. Google has an ongoing commitment to education and offers the entire Google suite of services to schools at no cost, with no advertising.

Free does not mean cheap or low quality. GSuite for Education is not a watered-down, light version of Office programs. It provides a full featured word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation tool, and much more.

GSuite for Education is constantly adding new features and as it is entirely online, as the new features release, they are automatically available. There is no need for us to download and install updates, or pay for a new version.

2. GSuite for Education removes compatibility issues.
 
One of the great struggles for a school can be the large amount of different programs and versions of programs that students may use at home. It is possible for a student to write a document at home in a newer version of a program or a completely different program than what the school has on our computers. This can pose a challenge for the student who needs to open, edit, or share that document when at school. With GSuite for Education, no matter where you are the program is the same. Being entirely web-based, students get the exact program at school and at home and at the public library and anywhere else.
 
3. GSuite for Education allows for anytime, anywhere access.
 
GSuite for Education is a web-based program. It simply runs right in your web browser. As long as you have access to the Internet, you have access to GSuite for Education. This means that students can access, edit, create, and share all their GSuite for Education from any computer whether at school or at home or the public library or on vacation at Grandma’s house.

Even snow days are no longer an excuse for not doing school work! It does not matter if the computer is a Windows PC, a Mac, or runs Linux. Beyond computers and laptops, GSuite for Education is also accessible on tablets and smart phones. Being web-based also means that students no longer need to store files on flash drives or other media to transfer documents between school and home. Anything they work on in one location is accessible in another. Of course, students can still export to a flash drive if needed.

4. GSuite for Education allows for collaboration and sharing.
 
Another benefit of being web-based is collaboration. Students and staff can share any of their work with other students or staff as needed. When shared, a file can be read-only or the creator can grant edit access by others. This makes it easy for students to do group projects and all work together on the same document or presentation, with no need to merge separate files together later. Sharing also allows students to turn in their work digitally, saving money by removing the need to print.
 
5. Microsoft Office is compatible with GSuite for Education.
 

For many reasons, people may sometimes choose or need to use Microsoft Office for certain tasks. For example, at our high school our business classes still use Microsoft Office due to the specific tasks they need to do and the likelihood they will be using Office in their jobs. Even still, GSuite for Education works well with Microsoft Office and other productivity programs.  Anything created in GSuite for Education may be exported for use in Office.

6. Many people, schools, and businesses already use GSuite for Education.
 
Although Microsoft Office is certainly the most widely used productivity suite, more and more businesses and organizations are using Google Apps all the time. Here is a list of some companies and schools using Google Apps:  http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/customers/

And, of course, Google itself uses Google Apps to run its multi-billion dollar company.

7. It is more important to teach technology skills than just teaching use of specific programs.
 
A final thought to consider is just what needs to be taught when it comes to tech skills. Most productivity programs work about the same. For example, if you know how to create a numbered list in Microsoft Word, you will have no problem doing the same thing in Google Documents or Libre Office or most any word processing program. The same is true for most productivity tasks. GSuite for Education is an excellent suite of programs for teaching these needed productivity skills that can be used with any program.
 
What about privacy?
 
GSuite for Education is governed by detailed privacy policy and security measures which FCSD has reviewed and is satisfied they appropriately protect the privacy of its users.

Google does not collect or use student data for advertising purposes or create advertising profiles and there are NO advertisements in Google Apps for Education.  

Further, Google will:

Not sell student information

Not behaviorally target advertising

Use data for authorized education purposes only

Not change privacy policies without notice and choice

Enforce strict limits on data retention

Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information

Provide comprehensive security standards

Remain transparent about collection and use of data

Additionally, third-party online education services, that also subscribe to the same standards for student data use as Google, may be used in conjunction with GSuite accounts.   

Under our Terms of Service Agreement with Google, like FCSD, they are also obligated to comply with FERPA regulations. Additional information about GSuite security & privacy: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/edu/privacy.html.

In conclusion, GSuite for Education is a great choice for schools because it is a free, powerful suite of programs, that is constantly improving, that allows for anytime, anywhere access and collaboration.

It is a great tool to help us teach our students technology, but more importantly to teach them to use technology and work collaboratively.

 
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