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General Chat Thread, Did anyone see the google apps article in Yesterdays Guardian education supplement? in General; Chips for free | E-learning | EducationGuardian.co.uk "A growing number of UK schools are relying on Google to manage the ...
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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Did anyone see the google apps article in Yesterdays Guardian education supplement?

    Chips for free | E-learning | EducationGuardian.co.uk

    "A growing number of UK schools are relying on Google to manage the bulk of their ICT needs, the Guardian has learned. Google Apps Education Edition is a bundled package of web-based email, calendar and office software originally tailored for business but now being offered - free - to schools. And universities are beginning to take note, too."

    I have played with the apps before but nobody at my school was interested, how about you?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    We will not touch the email for generic school use due to the lack of filtering and the capability for it to be used for grooming, not to mention spam!

    We do regularly have students use the apps for work at home though.

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    Resurecting an old thread here because we're seriously giving consideration to google apps here for a few reasons.

    We're a Northern Ireland school which means we are under the C2K NI IT system for schools. It was a a centralised project to provide a total IT infrastructure for all schools primary and secondary level from MS to academic. Centrally managed with a central support contract.

    Its a project that was so ambitious it couldn't possibly succeed completely but they did a reasonable job to meet average educational needs but certain things are very weak. E-mail both student and staff goes through a "gatekeeper" a single member of staff who must approve or reject every piece of e-mail flagged by the filter which we have no control over the setting of and is hyper restrictive. Ok in a Primary school I guess but not ina secondary with over 100 staff and over 1200 pupils. Their VLE is terrible and if your teach a computing class don't expect to have your students to ever see any code they have written run. We have a large legacy network to counteract most of these points.

    However e-mail for students is becoming a real issue. Most of you would liekly consider us incredibly backward for not having student e-mail access on site already but du to the "gateway" feature it has been impossible.

    We have registered for google apps as an experiment for a select staff group and it has gone incredibly well. There is real momentum to continue rollign it out to more of the school. All staff and then 6th form for university applications etc to begin with. This however gives us a problem.

    We have no filtering beyond google's spam filtering and no archival of the mail for auditing / assigning blame in the event of manure hit a quickly spinning bladed device.

    After some google searching I've found a few ways of doing it.

    1) put a mail gateway between google and the interne tfor incoming and outgoing mail. Seems solid to me but it would be a first dealing with mail in this way for me and I'm unsure I really want to be responsible for it. Comments / guides / experiences welcome.

    2) Pay google. For $8 a year per user they will archive and allow you to filter incoming and outgoing mail. And allow mailbox inspection etc. thats quite a bill for 1350 users tho.

    3) jury rig some kind of system using googles own filter language to forward all incoming mail to mail boxes to another google mailbox where it could be searched....

    I'm going to be seareaching the relative cost and likelyhood of sucess of these options over the next 2 weeks before presenting to SMT. Any advice or experience would be welcome.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    You may be falling foul of Data Protection laws due to it being hosted in the USA. I'd speak with your relevant authority and see what their legal position is on the issue.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    SOAS, University of London have recently moved to Google Apps Education Edition for Staff & Students (~5000+)

    They have a lot of details on the decison here.

    Comparison of User features for Exchange and Google email
    The SOAS/Google system
    Data Protection
    Welcome to the Safe Harbor

    Google is registered under the US Safe Harbour scheme, which means that it is approved to receive transfers of personal data to outside the European Economic Area in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

    In 2007 we started a project to replace our old email system with a new one that would fulfil users' needs. And by users, we mean staff as well as students. In March 2008 the School took the decision to adopt not only Google Mail but also the other applications (Calendar, Docs and Chat) that are freely available to educational establishments. Our reasons for opting for Google can be summarised as:

    * Google Mail fulfills our users' needs at a considerable saving compared with traditional solutions;
    * The collaborative tools in Google Apps will enable staff and students to gain the benefits of group working more quickly than other solutions.

    Initially, we will be giving users their Google Start Page, Mail and Calendar. Once users are familiar with these, we will turn on the collaborative application in Google Docs.

    During June, July and August 2008 we will be migrating staff and postgraduate students to Google. Faculty and undergraduate students will be migrated during September and October 2008.
    SOAS email migration
    Last edited by somabc; 26th September 2008 at 05:19 PM.

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    I'm very interested in using Google Mail in school. I don't quite understand the 'Safe Harbor' part. Does this mean that we are not infringing UK data protection laws by putting pupil data on there?

    My other concern is of course filtering and account management. Has anyone been successful in a school situation?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    According to www.dotMailer.com - The Data Protection Act , the US Safe Harbour scheme is compatible with EU Data protection legislation but not the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

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    I have to admit I'd never looked at it. Now the missus has moved our host mail over to it, and I have to admit I quite like it..

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    Have been using "google for education" here for the last 8 months for staff use only. Primarily, using the email service and some shared calendars. The staff seem to like it and it is now the primary method of communication for staff in school. As the sys admin you get a dashboard that allows you to control your domain, user accounts bulk upload etc etc. A big pro is cost "free!!"

    It started off as a trial but the school has decided to stay with it. Our students remain using rm easymail.

    We have found it to be extremely reliable, very easy to use and have even managed to persuade tech phobia members of staff to use it. Basically, if you use gmail you will be aware of what it can do. The calendars, can be shared and you have control of permissions for your calendar read, write view etc.

    Not explored all it's potential but it works and is realiable!!

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    According to www.dotMailer.com - The Data Protection Act , the US Safe Harbour scheme is compatible with EU Data protection legislation but not the UK Data Protection Act 1998.
    It will probably be a matter for the courts to interpret whether or not Safe Harbor is compliant with the DPA. To my knowledge there has not been a test case but EU companies are certainly exporting data under to the US using Safe Harbor just now.

    According to JISC Legal - Data Protection

    Several countries have been listed by the European Commission as offering equivalent protection and personal data may be exported to those without further formality. At the time of writing those countries included Argentina , the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey , Switzerland and Canada (although not for all data). Agreement has also been reached between the Commission and the US Department of Commerce that companies in the US that adopt a sufficient standard of self-regulation provide adequate protection. The scheme is called " Safe Harbor ". The standards are embodied in a set of principles to which the US companies must adhere in order to join the Safe Harbor. Personal data may be exported to companies in the Safe Harbor without further formality.

    Adequate protection may be supplied by the adoption of contractual obligations to treat the data to standards equivalent to those imposed by the Directive. The European Commission has issued two model form contracts, one used for exports to data controllers and the other to be used for exports to data processors, which can be used. If the data are exported as part of a contract which incorporates the model clauses the protection provided by the contract is deemed to be adequate.

    If none of these options applies the controller who wishes to export personal data overseas must either bring himself within one of the derogations or make his own assessment of adequacy of protection. The derogations include the ground that the data subject has given consent to the transfer and many data controllers seek consent to overseas transfers as a matter of routine under contracts with data subjects.

    Institutions which deal with the transfer of personal data overseas need to review their arrangements in this area and may need to take specific advice. There are no prohibitions on the import of personal data into the EEA.
    If you follow this flow chart you should be in compliance with the law.

    ScienceDirect - Computer Law; Security Report : Data Protection; Safe Harbor : TRANSFERRING PERSONAL DATA TO THE USA

    Journal - Computer Law & Security Report
    Volume 17, Issue 4, 31 July 2001, Pages 239-243
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Did anyone see the google apps article in Yesterdays Guardian education supplement?-0.gif  
    Last edited by somabc; 1st October 2008 at 11:44 AM.

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    Extra storage as students go Gmail | Australian IT

    "Google partner SMS Management and Technology has emerged as the leading bidder to supply the NSW Department of Education with 1.5 million student email services using a customised version of the search giant's Gmail service, Acting NSW Minister for Education and Training John Hatzistergos said."

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    Just my 2c (0.02 South African rands = 0.00126304195 British pounds)

    I'm using Google Apps Education edition, although I'm using it primarily as a spam filter.

    All our mail gets collected in a catchall mailbox and then our exchange server connects and downloads the mail and sorts it into the relevant exchange accounts.
    It has cut down our spam tremendously and I think i've had 10 false negatives in the last 4 months. In the case of somebody missing mail, searching the spam folder is quick and simple.

    We're looking at setting up accounts for students and I'm considering using google apps and creating for them, however, i know that already at least 80% of them have their own gmail accounts, so I imagine alot of the student ones I create will never be used.

    As I mentioned above, we use exchange internally which works perfectly for us, so no need to use the calendars on gmail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmckenna View Post
    Have been using "google for education" here for the last 8 months for staff use only. Primarily, using the email service and some shared calendars. The staff seem to like it and it is now the primary method of communication for staff in school. As the sys admin you get a dashboard that allows you to control your domain, user accounts bulk upload etc etc. A big pro is cost "free!!"
    We found the same. Staff use it a lot (email, anyway). There is a Moodle module to help integrate it (Single Sign On). Highly recommend it for staff anyway, haven't gone down the pupil option yet.

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