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Cloud Services Thread, List of advantages for staff to actually use our school email service in Technical; Hi all We currently run a Google domain and all staff have a access to school email + distribution lists ...
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    titch's Avatar
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    List of advantages for staff to actually use our school email service

    Hi all

    We currently run a Google domain and all staff have a access to school email + distribution lists etc. Its frustrating me at the moment as staff are missing "important" announcements due to the fact they are not logging in. The gmail site is set to auto open in the morning when they first login but putting in an email address and password seems to be too much work. Has anyone got a list of points that are relevant as to why we use a corporate mail instead of our own personal emails. Have drafted something already but was hoping for some well written points rather than my usual waffling.

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    I have created a landing page in Google Sites under a tab named Staff Resources that is attached to the main schools website. When the users clicks the link it asks for the Google username and password before letting them move on to the landing page, from this point on they are already signed in to all the Google apps and all they need to do is click the email pic on my landing page and it opens.

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    Or you could use single sign on.

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    Has anyone got a list of points that are relevant as to why we use a corporate mail instead of our own personal emails.
    First thing that comes to mind is when a staff member leaves how do you ensure they do not still have school related information.

    I also think the ICO would need to be informed if school data was being sent to servers in other parts of the World and using personal email accounts would make this impossible.

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    titch's Avatar
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    Thanks Edutech. I like the idea of the landing page, although I think staff may just go around it. after it putting in a school email is far to much hassle. This might be something I give a go over summer.

    Bottom 2 comments are perfect for what I need.

    Any Others anyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by titch View Post
    Hi all

    We currently run a Google domain and all staff have a access to school email + distribution lists etc. Its frustrating me at the moment as staff are missing "important" announcements due to the fact they are not logging in. The gmail site is set to auto open in the morning when they first login but putting in an email address and password seems to be too much work. Has anyone got a list of points that are relevant as to why we use a corporate mail instead of our own personal emails. Have drafted something already but was hoping for some well written points rather than my usual waffling.
    Well, to me it appears that your school leadership don't care if staff use the school email or not. If they did, then staff would be using it. At least they would if I were their leader, or they would be told "don't come Monday" (aka you're sacked).

    So, if the leaders don't care and use personal email themselves, then you're just wasting precious time fighting a battle you will never win. If the leadership do care, then all they have to do is stop sending emails to personal accounts and staff will quickly get in line because very soon staff would be reprimanded for not responding to important emails, ignoring announcements, missing meetings, etc. Your school appears to have a leadership problem, not a technical problem.

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    titch (15th July 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Your school appears to have a leadership problem, not a technical problem.
    This. SMT need to get on the case or this problem will never be solved. We have a written policy that our staff must check their school email at least once per day, and the DH takes people to task if they don't (which is rare these days)

    About the only thing you could do to make this any better that hasn't already been suggested is a little trick I use for our pupils. Their email is on Google Apps and we don't have SSO. We do have SSO for our Intranet however, and from there I use 2-legged OAuth to read the 'unread mail' RSS feed from the Gmail inbox and parse it using XSLT to show on the Intranet homepage. It's not perfect (only shows the 20 most recent unread) but it works fairly well.

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    titch (15th July 2013)

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    We haven't had Google Apps long, but have just set up the "Bursar's Office" page on our website.

    The first three links with nice pictorial buttons are to gmail, google calendars and google drive... access made easy for those who find this challenging

    Then we have links to various forms that we have set up for things like Pay Adjustments, Holiday Booking, Caretaker Maintenance, etc... all these need you to be logged into your google account for them to work.

    It's very popular with the staff, some of whom assume that this is the only way you can get to gmail... but as they use the same webpage to get there from home or school they are happy.

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    titch (15th July 2013)

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    As others have said, you're attempting a technical solution to a leadership/people problem. Your SLT needs to say "You will not use personal email for school business or you will face disciplinary action up to and including being fired".

    The only one that works and is technical is the simple "Block access to personal email".

    Your reasons for not tolerating the use of personal email for school business are:

    • Accountability - proving something did or didn't happen. You have no audit trail on personal email.
    • Account compromises - see BTYahoo for "we fixed it", "no you haven't", "we really fixed it now", "no, you still haven't", rinse, lather, repeat. At least if the account's under your control you can spot a compromise and nip it in the bud.
    • Brand recognition - if I'm a parent and get an email from bob123@hotmail.com claiming to be a Geography teacher at schoolname..... at the very least it triggers a WTF? bob.smith@schoolname.area.sch.uk is more professional and shows "probably does work at schoolname".
    • Data leakage - if bob@schoolname.area.sch.uk emails an attachment to sue@schoolname.area.sch.uk it stays on the school mailserver/mailboxes (if hosted). If bob123@hotmail.com emails sue83@gmail.com it goes all over the place.
    • Data Protection (as above) - Phone up ICO, ask them if the current state of play is a good idea.
    • Leavers - If bob123@hotmail.com is the main UCAS / Oxbridge contact for the school and he leaves/gets hit by a bus/has an extended illness, you've no way of letting someone else deal with the correspondance. bob@schoolname.area.sch.uk doesn't have that problem.

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    titch (15th July 2013)

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    titch's Avatar
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    Cheers everyone

    Point taken about leadership Etc, I will have to ask. Thanks for the points Pete that was exactly the thing I was after.

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