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Educational Software Thread, Google+ in school in Technical; Google lowered the age restrictions of Google+ to 13 earlier this year. They have now released a preview of the ...
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    Google+ in school

    Google lowered the age restrictions of Google+ to 13 earlier this year.
    They have now released a preview of the restrictions that can be put in place on the domain. Many of our teachers have requested the use of facebook, or a facebook like system in school and this could be one step close.

    Bringing Google+ to work: Preview of enterprise features
    Released on 8/29/2012
    We have now launched a preview of Google+ premium features in the administrator control
    panel. Admins can setup default restrictions that will allow users in the domain to freely
    exchange ideas and share information while keeping company information private.

    Post Restrictions: Admins can set all new posts to be restricted within the domain by
    default. Unless a user deliberately chooses to remove this restriction on a post, it cannot
    ever be reshared outside the domain by anyone. External users cannot be added via
    comments either. Note that a restricted post will always remain restricted. A post can only
    be made public when it is first created.

    Restricted Hangouts: When this feature is turned on, external users will only be able to join
    a Hangout to which they are explicitly invited to. Everyone in the domain will always be
    able to join any Hangout as long as they have the URL. Note that this is a default. Users can
    always make Hangouts public.

    Editions included:
    Google Apps for Business, Government and Education

    Languages Supported:
    All languages

    For more information:
    Official Google Enterprise Blog: Bringing Google+ to work
    Set a default sharing restriction for posts - Google Apps Help
    Restrict access to Hangouts - Google Apps Help
    Sharing restrictions for Google Apps users - Google+ Help

  2. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    pete (30th August 2012)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    A couple of questions about G+ in GApps for Ed (as I haven't had time over the summer to seriously delve into it what it will mean).

    Can all users create a hangout? Can this feature be turned off or is it just down to restricting it to internal only or external via invite?
    What monitoring tools are in place to highlight abuse?
    Is access time limited (ie can only access certain tools during specific times)?

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    I'm only guessing on this from previous experience- I've not had time to use it.

    "Can all users create a hangout? Can this feature be turned off or is it just down to restricting it to internal only or external via invite? "
    Certainly you can turn features on and off for certain groups. I should imagine it's either on or off for a certain bunch of users (KS4 for example)

    "What monitoring tools are in place to highlight abuse?" - Smoothwall, and any updates sent by email

    "Is access time limited (ie can only access certain tools during specific times?"
    I doubt it - google stuff is usually either on or off for a group of users. Again you could do this with a web filter policy.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I'm thinking more of what it could be used for outside of school and the problems it could cause, especially with things like hangouts. It goes back to a discussion with some legal folk about how providing a tool which could be used outside of schools hours which allows for a child to do something damaging could land the school in hot water (personally I was more interested in limiting the chance of damage but I could see the point raised). Most walled garden style VLEs with these tools allow it to be more restrictive as to what you do, who with and when ... and I just worry that going for a 'free' tool rather than a licensed / costed tool misses this aspect out.

    I'll raise a few questions with some GCTs and see what they say about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Most walled garden style VLEs with these tools allow it to be more restrictive as to what you do, who with and when ... and I just worry that going for a 'free' tool rather than a licensed / costed tool misses this aspect out.
    I don't think free vs paid has anything to do with it. Marhara is entirely free as in Open Source yet will work as a restrictive walled gardened social network.

    I entirely take the point about there is an issue if a school provides a tool and it is abused. From an educationalist perspective it is also a problem providing too much of a sterile environment. My line manager calls it "the creepy treehouse" effect - we don't want children to go any play in the streets so we design sterile environments that we encourage children to play in, which the children find 'false' and a bit creepy.

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    Are you providing a tool? Not as if they couldn't do all the bad stuff without you signing them up for an account for something. If you tell children about the existence of death are you responsible if they kill people?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    Are you providing a tool? Not as if they couldn't do all the bad stuff without you signing them up for an account for something. If you tell children about the existence of death are you responsible if they kill people?
    I don't think the daily mail would see it that way if something terrible happened to a child after using a system sanctioned by their school. Worst possible scenario and all.

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    Google+ Hangouts cause cancer.

    Do you mean the Pro Hitler Daily Mail? I just use that as a way to easily spot racists

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    The 'free' was in to denote how SLT tend to view these cloud services or web 2.0 services where they think it costs nowt. I put in licensed / costed as most Open Source folk (including Mahara users) are happy to be referred to as costed, as it helps to show that the costs associated with it are very low and cover the user of lower spec (or even pre-used) hardware and the admin / tech time to set it up (often forgotten about in cloud / web 2.0 services). Perhaps I should have been a tad clearer on that so that this didn't spin off into a open source v everything else discussion.

    And yes, I agree with the issue about making environments too sterile ... trying to get a healthy balance between safety, providing education about the real world (which they experience long before they leave school) and not putting the school and/or staff in a position where they leave themselves and their classes open to things going wrong (and the subsequent fallout) is getting tougher and tougher the more I chat with legal folk and the less we see coming out from central bodies.



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