google appsOver the past two years, our faculty has adopted Google Apps for Education into their daily routines. At a professional level, this web-based, suite of products has become the backbone of effective communication and has become indispensable in our approach to online collaboration in a fast-paced, 21st century technology world.

In order to cultivate an academic environment infused with technology for both our staff and most importantly our students, we provide access to a Google Apps for Education account for each student in our fifth through eighth grade classes.

Below are some important questions and answers our community may have about this program.  If after reading through the information below, you still have further questions, please contact our Director of Technology Artur Duque at (508) 541-3434 ext. 117 or via e-mail at aduque@bfccps.org.

Google Apps for Education Common Questions:

Question. What is Google Apps for Education?

Answer. Google is currently offering schools a hosted solution for their email, calendar, and chat through Google Apps for Education, our integrated communication and collaboration solution. Additionally, you can complement the core suite to meet your users’ needs, with access to dozens more Google applications.

Core Google Apps for Education suite includes:

Gmail: Email access to our staff only along with storage and search tools that help your students find information fast and instant messaging from right inside their accounts.

Google Calendar: Students can organize their schedules and share events and calendars with others.

Google Docs: Share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Collaborate in real-time with your team or with your whole school. You can publish final documents to the entire world, too.

Google Sites: Work together to keep related documents, web content and other information in one place, on one site.

Question. Who owns the data that organizations put into Google Apps?

Answer. To put it simply, Google does not own your data. We do not take a position on whether the data belongs to the institution signing up for Apps, or the individual user (that’s between the two of you), but we know it doesn’t belong to us!

The data which you put into our systems is yours, and we believe it should stay that way. We think that means three key things.

1. We won’t share your data with others except as noted in our Privacy Policy.
2. We keep your data as long as you require us to keep it.
3. Finally, you should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.

Question. Will there be advertisements with Google Apps?

Answer. There are no advertisements used with Google Apps for Education.

However, if you have an account for only alumni at your schools, you are required to enable advertisements.

Gmail also offers web clips at the top of your inbox which show you news headlines, blog posts, RSS and Atom feeds, and relevant sponsored links. Each clip displays the source from which it was received, how long ago the clip was published, and a link to access the entire story or page containing the clip. You may want to create custom RSS feeds for your University.

If you have a Google Apps for Education domain and choose to Hide all advertisements for this domain in your domain’s Google Apps control panel, then sponsored links will also no longer be shown as web-clips. Your users will still be able to customize their web-clips for news headlines, blog posts, RSS feeds, and Atom feeds.

Question. How secure is Google Apps?

Answer. Two of the most common questions regarding Google in general, and Google Apps specifically, are security and privacy. We take both topics very seriously and truly believe that our offerings are a great option for customers on both fronts.

Our business is built on our users’ trust: trust in our ability to properly secure their data and our commitment to respect the privacy of the information they place in our systems by not giving that information to others or using it inappropriately.

We have an additional FAQ page regarding Security and Privacy can be found at support.google.com where you can find more information. Also, please see the Google Security & Privacy page.

Question. What are the full terms of Google Apps for Education Agreement?

Answer. In its entirety, the Google Apps for Education agreement can be read, here.

Question. Why Google Apps?

Answer. Here are the Top 10 reasons for using Google Apps.