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Gmail policy and procedures for students

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Started by Jane 17 Jul 2015 3:22pm () Replies (12)

Hi All

We are looking to set our Year 7/8 student's up with Gmail accounts so they can utilise GAFE. Just wondering if anyone can share how they went about getting parent consent or if you have any standard parental request letters or policies in place.

Many thanks, Jane


  • Martin Hughes 3ml.nz (View all users posts) 17 Jul 2015 3:42pm ()

    H Jane

    Exciting times for you and your students!! A few things to ponder - no doubt, others will add other ideas of value! First up, your students do not have to have email enabled for them - some schools/teachers just enable Google Drive for their kids as it can make things much simpler, to start with, in terms of encouraging online behaviours that are safe and respectful.

    With regards to community involvement, this is crucial, of course. I find that it is wise to make clear distinctions between (school) Google accounts and (private) Gmail accounts. In this way, parents are less likely to be anxious about their sub 13 year children breaking the law etc.

    Lots more to share - feel free to contact me directly, if that helps?

    Martin Hughes  (martin@3ml.nz)

  • Jane (View all users posts) 20 Jul 2015 5:16pm ()

    Thanks very much for this Martin, I'll definitely be in touch when I have further questions.

  • KathC (View all users posts) 18 Jul 2015 11:12am ()

    Hi Jane, we are 2years into our GAFE journey with yr3-6 students. What we do with our students before they get their email addresses.

    1. The students complete cybersafety unit based around completing www.digitalpassport.org 

    2. We send 2 documents home an explanatory letter and a gmail contract ( this used to just have Gmail rules on it but now is written to cover device use, gmail accounts and byod) 

    We do use Hapara teacher dashboard and I think that really helped parents to feel that we would monitor children's use. Good luck on your new journey. Hope the doc links are working.

  • Jane (View all users posts) 20 Jul 2015 5:14pm ()

    Thanks so much Kath. This is really helpful information and great to have the documents as a starting point for our journey. We are thinking Hapara is the best option for us at the moment too.

  • Nic (View all users posts) 18 Jul 2015 12:47pm ()

    Hi Jane, 

    We co-constructed an "acceptable use of technologies agreement" with the children. It is based on our school "rule" of respect (respect ourselves, respect each other, respect the environment) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wcg8eZsGfc6O_tzBIhWkvpGRRZAaXvFHXB-FBgP_UhA/pub This is taken home, discussed with parents and brought back to school. Children's accounts will not be set up until we have the document. 

    Digital citizenship runs through everything that we do. 

    I would highly recommend having a parent information evening as they will have lots of questions/ concerns etc. 

    We use Hapara Dashboard so that we can monitor children's emails and documents. We have not had many problems in the 3 years that we have been using GAFE.

    Recently, we have felt a need to introduce email etiquette and expectations. This has also been co-constructed with the students:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EkcDYch00LLFNE_MNvnrZ2fEWwGMgnwgS1Lq0r0_pbs/edit

    Good luck with your journey and feel free to get in touch nstevenson@worserbay.school.nz


  • Julie Tumarae (View all users posts) 18 Jul 2015 3:03pm ()

    Hi Jane

    I am at Murupara Area School, like yourself we are currently going through the same procedure, `developing our ICT vision along with an action plan which includes policies etc around parental consent and cybersafety.  We are also a GAFE school.

    So thank-you for setting this group up.

    The comments that have been posted are also very helpful.  Thanks everyone.


  • Jane (View all users posts) 20 Jul 2015 5:24pm ()

    Thanks for your help and documents Nicola - it's always good to see how others are handling all of this. I'll definitely be in touch if I need any further advice.

    Julie it's nice to know we're not the only ones! There's a lot to think about!

  • Clive Francis (View all users posts) 22 Jul 2015 3:41pm ()

    Glendowie Primary School sent this letter to parents which may be of interest to you.

    Thanks to Katrina at the school for giving me permission to share it.


  • Jane (View all users posts) 24 Jul 2015 5:02pm ()

    Thanks so much Clive (and Katrina). From reading the letter it sounds like your school has been down the same track as us - just a bit ahead of us. Our teacher's have been using GAFE for the past year and we are now extending that through the school slowly. The letter seems to encompass exactly our thoughts, it's so helpful when drafting our own documents. Thank you again!

  • Peter Corlett (View all users posts) 22 Jul 2015 5:01pm ()

    I think parental trust of us as educationalist is vital - so informing parents and involving parents in conversations around all ICT developments in your class is a wise move.   Once you have the trust of parents you can really do some cool stuff using the ICTs to support learning. Remember that education in today's schools is so totally foreign and many parents would like to be involved but feel out of their depth with both pedagogy and the tools of modern classrooms - their children often know more about the use of ICT tools than their parents. 

    Different classes in our school have used different approaches - mine has been to keep parents informed right from the start of the year.  I talked of how email, along with other tools can be used to assist learning and some of the guidelines around that.  eg Only allowed to email people within the school and family members out of the school, unless the teacher has given permission..... what to do if you get an email that makes you feel uncomfortable .... email etiquette.... and that all email has to be for learning purposes.  We held a parent's evening and demonstrated the use of Hapara Dashboard as a way to monitor student emails.  We also made sure children could see how we monitor emails by doing so and putting it up on the board with the data projector.  We made sure children knew school email was a work email, and even if they used that email address at home teachers could monitor it.    

    Once parents and students understood that their emails could and would be monitored, the concerns of parents melted away.

    All the best for you and your class on this learning journey, Jane. 

    Peter Corlett

  • Scott Noakes (View all users posts) 22 Jul 2015 5:22pm ()

    Hi Jane,

    Just a note on the same vein as Peter's in regards to involving the parents but from a online behavioural perspective rather than an email etiquette one. We've encountered a number of parents being concerned around online-at-school use of BYOD devices they are providing. 

    To address this concern Linewize now allows schools to enable a parental login feature which provides parents visibility over their child's Internet use at school and can also alert the parent of inappropriate behaviour so that the relevant conversations can be had.

    We've also just made available our teacher internet toolbox which allows teachers to control Internet access in their classroom from any browser. Teachers can relax filtering if the need to access normally restricted sites (eg a class on greek classics wanting to view the venus de milo), share URLs easily and limit access to just the lesson-related online-resources should they wish.

    Our system integrates directly with Google so if you're a GAFE school there's very little configuration needed to provide schools complete visibility and control over network access and Internet usage in the classroom.

    If you're interested have a look at our website, http://linewize.com.

    Cheers Scott.

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