Parkway e-News Story

Google Apps: What Parents Need to Know

We are proud to announce that Parkway is partnering with Google Apps for Education this fall, providing Google accounts for all students and staff.

What parents need to know: watch this short VIDEO

Google Apps for Education:

  • Is already being used by thousands of schools and universities worldwide
  • Enhances a student's ability to access, collaborate and share what they learn at school
  • Provides a safe and structured online learning space
  • Protects student data and privacy through a Parkway-managed environment
  • Meets our mission and vision to prepare students for an ever-changing world

What are the Google Apps tools?
Google Apps for Education will provide students access to many of the Google tools available online. The most notable is Google Drive, an online productivity suite that includes a collaborative space for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.

A Parkway Google Apps account will make it possible for students to work together virtually on projects and documents via the web and provide online storage space for files that can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection.

Middle and high school students will also be given a Parkway-managed email account that will allow them to collaborate with teachers and classmates in a safe and structured environment.

Parkway teachers have been spending time this Summer at Google Camp (pictured above) learning how to use Google tools in the classroom.

Safe and Secure in a Parkway-Managed Environment

The Parkway School District and Google take information privacy and security very seriously.

Parkway will only provide Google with the minimum amount of data required to setup an account.  This will be the student’s first name, last name, and username.

Our information systems used for storing and managing staff and student information continue to be housed in Parkway’s local data center, not associated with Google.

For staff and student work created in our Google Apps for Education environment, there are strict terms of use and privacy policies that Google follows. 

Some of the privacy protections for students include:

  • No scanning or delivery of ads 
  • Parkway owns all the data
  • Google complies with both FERPA (http://pkwy.info/FERPA5) and COPPA (http://pkwy.info/coppafaq)
  • Google also complies with industry recognized security standards and certifications

Google email addresses for older students will give Parkway a secure and managed method for teachers and students to communicate electronically and foster a collaborative learning environment.

By providing students with a Google Apps account, they will no longer be reliant on specific software loaded on a specific computer, nor will they have to store their documents on a flash drive that could easily be lost or broken.

Google Apps also gives us the opportunity to teach students best practices for responsible use of online tools, including expanding their understanding of topics like digital citizenship and internet safety. As use of these tools expands we will continue to monitor and discuss the issues around security, privacy and the protection of our student’s information.

Where can I learn more?

We consider Parkway’s partnership with parents to be important to the success of our students. More detailed information regarding the roll-out of Parkway’s Google Apps for Education will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Google’s full Privacy Policy can be found here: http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/

FAQ support page related to security and privacy: https://support.google.com/a/answer/60762

Google Apps for Education Terms of Use: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html.

If you have questions about Parkway's Google implementation please email iteam@parkwayschools.net.

Article by: Jason Rooks, Technology Director and Bill Bass, Innovation Coordinator