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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Google Accounts for Students and Privacy

Google Accounts for Students and Privacy

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A friend of mine on Facebook posted the following questions to the geeks in our group:
"Here's a question for my savvy Internet friends & colleagues - would you allow your child's school to create a Google Apps account for your child using their full name and graduation date - knowing what you know about Google? I'd love to hear your thoughts & why. "

I thought I'd ask the question here as well, since my concerns are how the school is setting up the accounts, and are the accounts travelling with the kids throughout the school years and beyond. Also, Google says you have to be 13 to have a google account, so how is the school managing this with elementary students?

I love google apps and gmail and use them daily, but I also know everything I send is not REALLY private- how do we make sure both kids, parents and teachers know this as well?

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Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Whitney,
A very topical post, I think. We've been a GAFE school for a while now - my understanding was that with GAFE you don't have to be 13, as long as there is parental consent - which we get when parents enrol their students.

We also use students' full name. I might be a bit naive here, but I believe that the privacy policy for GAFE is different from a normal Google account.

Having said that, we are very clear with our students - we actually spend a couple of days every year on this - about good online behaviour.


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