Google Apps for Education Practice & FAQ

Boise School District Google Apps for Education Practice & FAQ


We are proud to announce that Boise School District has now made available to teachers, staff, and students the power of Google Apps for Education. This supports classrooms by providing tools for collaboration, communication, and online cloud-based file storage. Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, school leadership teams were presented with a Boise Schools Google Apps for Education Readiness Checklist (http://goo.gl/yszRia) to help with evaluation and preparation of activating these learning tools for students. Upon completing this checklist, all students will be provided with a Student Google Account unless you choose to opt your student out.


What Does This Mean?

This will mean that schools will have the option of using Google Apps for classwork and communication. Students will be provided secure Google accounts by the district along with training and information on how to responsibly use these learning tools. All Google accounts for staff, teachers, and students are expected to be used for educational and professional purposes. Please see our Boise School District Responsible Use of Technology, Access, and Digital Communication. (http://goo.gl/f2OKAL)


What are Google Apps for Education?

When accounts are activated, K-8 students will have access to Google Drive and Calendar. Google Drive offers access to word processing tools such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides that are similar to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Students in grades 9 - 12 will also have a Gmail account activated for educational use. There are additional district approved Google Apps and Extensions.  


What is the Value of Google Apps for Education (GAFE)?   Google Apps for Education are intended to enhance critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication for students and staff. Google Apps also provide users with cloud-based file storage for all of their documents. Students and teachers can open and edit their documents quickly. No more distractions like lost flash drives, outdated file attachments, or confusing client software. With anytime, anywhere access, Google Drive allows users to be productive at school, at home, and even on their mobile phones. Because Google Drive runs in a web browser, students can work from almost any device, can easily upload and share files, and can still work with formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. In addition, feedback through Google Docs' intuitive commenting feature is ideal for instructor and collaborator feedback. Revision history allows users to review document edits over time.


Why are Our Schools Doing This?

Digital Citizenship and 21st Century Skills are concepts which help teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship and 21st Century Skills are more than just a teaching tool; using these tools can be a way to prepare students/technology users for college and career.

What Do Parents Need to Do?

Stay tuned for more information from your student’s school. For more information and answers to questions about Google in Boise School District, see the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Parents/Guardians listed below.


Can I See What My Child is Doing on Google Apps?

Will there be a Parent View account? No, there is not a Parent View account. Parents are encouraged to explore Google Apps with their children by logging in together. You will be able to have your student log in to his or her Boise School District Google account at home and show you what they are currently working on in class, as well as items that have been “turned in” and commented on by the teacher.

What About Privacy & Security? Google Apps for Education is governed by detailed privacy policy and security measures which the Boise School District has reviewed and is satisfied appropriately protect the privacy of its users of these tools. Under our Terms of Service Agreement with Google, they are obligated to comply with Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.  In addition, student and staff technology use is subject to all guidelines, rules and regulations governing acceptable use as established by the Boise School District Policies 2513, 3239, 3241, and 5235. These policies are in alignment with Federal Guidelines (CIPA - Children’s Internet Protection Act & COPPA - Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) and State Laws of Idaho. Additional information about GAFE security & privacy may be found here: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/edu/privacy.html.


How Do I Opt Out of this Service?

Student participation in this program is encouraged. If you do not want a Boise School District Google account activated for your student, please fill out the form linked below, or pick up a hard copy of the form in your school’s main office. If you do opt out of this opportunity, other alternatives and resources will be provided to assure equal access to learning objectives. We encourage you to discuss the options with your student’s teacher(s) or school administration if you have any questions or concerns. Boise School District Google Account Opt Out Form for Students



Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Parents/Guardians


General Account Questions


  • How is the Boise School District Google account different from a Gmail account?

    • Only those Google services that are applicable to an educational setting are provided in our Boise School District Google domain. Some of the tools available in a public Google account will not be available in the Boise School District Google domain.  Additionally, logging in to the Boise School District Google account is done through a different login page than is used with a public Google account (Gmail).


  • Can I email my child at their Boise School District Google Account email address?

    • Yes - in grades 9-12.  K-8 students will not have Gmail accounts.

  • Can my student send email to family members or friends that do not have a Boise School District Google account?

    • Yes - in grades 9-12.  K-8 students will not have Gmail accounts.

  • Can I review my child’s Google documents?

    • Yes. Your child would need to share the documents with you under the “Share” option, or make those documents viewable to “anyone with a link” within that same “Share” option.

  • Are there consequences if my child misuses his or her Google Account?

    • Yes. Your child’s Student Google Account is a privilege and if abused, its use will be revoked.

  • I am using Google+ and Google Hangouts at home. Why can’t my student use it?

    • Google+ and Google Hangouts are currently disabled for students, so that we may review the effectiveness and appropriate use of the tool district-wide.  

Access Outside of School Questions


  • Will my child be able to use their Boise School District Google Account outside of school?

    • Yes, from a Windows, Mac, iPad, or Chromebook computer with a supported browser and access to the Internet.


  • Will my student be able to access their Boise School District Google account from their smartphone?

    • Yes, it will work.


  • I do not have internet or a smartphone at home. What resources are available to my student?

    • Each school will have a plan for equity, accessibility, and alternate opportunities to complete work. Please discuss this concern with your teacher or principal.  In addition, Boise City public libraries have devices available for student use outside of school time.


  • My student is having problems with his/her Boise School District Google Account after school hours, who can they contact?

    • Unfortunately, Boise School District cannot provide after-hours support for students.  He or she will need to wait to return to school to report the problems to a teacher. The teacher will then report these issues to the school technology representative who can address the problem.

Boise School District Google Account Opt Out Questions


  • How do I opt my student out of this service?

    • If you do not want your student using their Boise School District assigned Google Account, please complete the, Opt-Out of Google Apps for Education Form , linked here or ask your school secretary for a paper copy of this form.


  • I have opted out of my student having access to Google Apps. Will my student still be able to do all the assigned work?

    • Boise School District is committed to providing equal educational access to all students.  While Google Apps for Education provides students and teachers access to tools for communication, collaboration, and improves student engagement, teachers are encouraged to prepare Google Apps lessons with alternate plans for students whose parents have chosen to opt-out of this resource for their children or students with a disability that prevents the use of Google Apps.

Security Questions


  • What kind of filtering and monitoring is offered while my student is using their Boise School District Google Account?

    • Teachers will be modeling and teaching about how to use Boise School District Google accounts for academic learning and will promote positive digital citizenship. We will rely on students to learn good digital citizenship explained in the Boise School District Responsible Use of Technology, Access, and Digital Communication, when using these tools. For more information, please see the paragraph above that addresses Privacy and Security.


  • Will my student be seeing advertisements when they access their Boise School District Google Account?

    • No, as long as the student is logged into their Boise School District Google Account they will not see advertisements within the Boise School District Google domain.


  • What is in place to address cyber-bullying?

    • Bullying of any kind is not tolerated and is addressed in district policy and our Responsible Use of Technology, Access, and Digital Communication practice. Each year the Boise Schools reviews a digital citizenship program that addresses student online safety and cyber bullying via Common Sense Media with teachers & staff.  For more information about this program visit the following site: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/curriculum

Additional Questions


  • I have other questions, whom do I contact?

    • Your student’s teacher(s) or school administration should be able to answer most of your questions and those they are unable to answer will be directed to a resource who can.


  • What if my child already has a personal Gmail account. Can they use this account instead of the Boise School District Gmail account?

    • No. Students can share their personal documents with their Boise School District Gmail account, but they will need to use their Boise School District Gmail.
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