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Re: [WWWEDU] Should schools provide student accounts? Y/N and why or why not?

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  • Jeff Johnson
    Rather than provide email accounts for all students, we provide accounts for students of teachers that want to use email communication as part of their
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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      Rather than provide email accounts for all students, we provide
      accounts for students of teachers that want to use email
      communication as part of their coursework and learning expectations.
      This shifts the management of email from being entirely the proviso
      the tech staff to the teacher; this is clearly understood in advance.
      We have a handful of teachers that see the value in this and are
      moving forward.

      We are also experimenting with providing all of the seniors (~200
      sts) with district-owned email accounts. The guidance staff asked
      about this so they could more effectively disseminate information
      regarding college visits, scholarships, test dates, application
      deadlines, etc. So far, it's been successful.

      We occasionally have teachers that want to experiment with email
      accounts so their students can experience this form of communication
      in a controlled setting. We've used free Gaggle accounts for this
      purpose.

      I agree with Eric that providing email for all students is a
      relatively low priority in the overall scheme of the "101 tasks."
      However, while more than a few of our teachers are still trying to
      figure out the basics of using technology to enhance learning (and
      improve their own productivity), others are truly living in the same
      world as our "digital natives" and we have been able to add student
      email to their suite of available tools.

      Jeff Johnson
      Director of Technology
      Greendale School District
      Greendale, WI 53129

      jeff.johnson@...
      jjohnson1120@...

      On Nov 29, 2006, at 8:42 PM, elerttexas@... wrote:
      > I can't respond to "should we provide student accounts", but I can
      > address
      > the issue from my perspective. Having been the Director of
      > Technology at three
      > school districts, as well as a consultant to more than 100 others,
      > I have
      > experienced only a few that provide email accounts.
      >
      > There is a fine line in some of the Student Information Systems
      > that allow
      > communications between teachers and parents/students...so I'm
      > excluding those
      > in my comments because they are single-purpose, not true email
      > accounts.
      >
      > In the sequence of 101 tasks that a school district must perform as
      > they
      > move from laying the basic foundations of educational technologies
      > to the higher
      > level technology solutions, email accounts come toward the
      > end...somewhere
      > around 90-101. So many districts remain so far behind (infrastructure,
      > equipment, tool software, web sites, professional development,
      > support staff, etc.),
      > that they won't get to email accounts for many years.
      >
      > That's my two cent's worth.
      >
      > Eric Willard
      > Director of Technology
      > CUSD 300
      > Carpentersville, IL
      > 847.426.1300 ext. 337
      > _eric.willard@..._ (mailto:eric.willard@...)
    • Sue Maiers
      I have debated rather to respond or not, but here you go - my 2 cents worth (or maybe more!) I should preface this with the fact that we are a very small,
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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        I have debated rather to respond or not, but here you go - my 2 cents worth
        (or maybe more!)



        I should preface this with the fact that we are a very small, rural
        district. Each staff member wears many hats. I don't have the bureaucracy
        to fight through that others probably face, but I also don't have the
        assistance of many others who are knowledgeable in the field except in
        forums and listservs. I created our district's K-6 curriculum plan for
        technology based on the needs I saw and many online sources such as ISTE and
        McREL.



        I teach K-6 and 9-12 computer courses. After surveying kids for a few years
        I realized that by 4th or 5th grade many have set up their own e-mail
        accounts and are learning many unsafe habits online. Now I teach e-mail and
        online safety as the primary part of my 4th grade curriculum. We set up
        Gaggle accounts with appropriately vague usernames; discuss choosing good
        passwords, netiquette, etc. Students and parents are required to find an
        adult for the child to e-mail with (I encourage them to choose grandparents,
        aunts, uncles, etc.) If they know of no one, I set them up with a staff
        member or someone I know personally. (The connections with grandparents
        have been a great success!) We blog; I demonstrate instant messaging; we
        look at quality of sources, etc.



        This year's juniors were the first to get accounts back in elementary. A
        few of them still prefer to use the filtered accounts. I offer these
        accounts to anyone who wants one at any grade level. The value of this
        instruction was reinforced when half the seniors in my college-level courses
        didn't have e-mail accounts or didn't know how to add to their contacts,
        attach files, etc.



        I require all my 9-12th grade students to e-mail their assignments to me
        from their preferred outside accounts as well as print copies. This gives
        me documented proof of what has been turned in (including plagiarized work)
        and the date it was sent, as well as preparing them for college courses. Do
        they abuse the time on e-mail? Sometimes, but that is also a life lesson
        before they lose a job for doing personal online activities when they're
        supposed to be working.



        Sue Maiers

        Technology Coordinator & Teacher

        McLeod West ISD 2887

        Stewart and Brownton, MN


        --
        This message has been scanned for viruses and
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • mathgeektodd
        Good input Audrey, It seems to me that your main issue revolves around accessing files and might be solved with online storage, (such as iDisk or others) or a
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
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          Good input Audrey,

          It seems to me that your main issue revolves around accessing files
          and
          might be solved with online storage, (such as iDisk or others) or a
          very
          inexpensive USB device. E-mail isn't the only way (and not
          necessarily
          the best way) to get a file from one place to another... sneaker net
          anyone?

          To me, e-mail is much more about communication. I see one distinct
          advantage about schools providing e-mails is that it makes it very
          easy
          for students and teachers to communicate with each other since they no
          longer have to keep track of changing e-mail addresses and being
          concerned
          with students that do not have e-mail addresses. Everybody knows
          everybody's address and addressbooks can be kept globally.

          There's my $0.02...

          Todd

          --------------------------------------------------
          Todd Sheaman
          IS Director - The Bishop's School
          sheamant@...


          --- In wwwedu@yahoogroups.com, "audrey hill" <audhilly@...> wrote:
          >
          > As a teacher whose students are not allowed to access their
          hotmail, google,
          > aol, yahoo email accounts, I think that the only alternative is
          that schools
          > provide email accounts. Often I have work that I have to send to
          students
          > that they will access with their email accounts at home and then
          later need
          > to access in school. In order for the work to be accessible in
          school they
          > send it to my email address. The problem with that is that when we
          go into
          > the lab they have to sit around while I access all their individual
          email
          > accounts and open the attachments and put them in their folders on
          our
          > server. It wastes a whole lot of time. There needs to be a way to
          > communicate with students and share files online from home or
          school. I'd
          > be even more satisfied if it was a blackboard account so that we
          had a
          > contained place to do everything including communicate online real
          time with
          > one another, email, share files universally, grade work etc.
          >
          > Audrey
          >
          > On 11/29/06, elerttexas@... <elerttexas@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I can't respond to "should we provide student accounts", but I
          can
          > > address
          > > the issue from my perspective. Having been the Director of
          Technology at
          > > three
          > > school districts, as well as a consultant to more than 100
          others, I have
          > > experienced only a few that provide email accounts.
          > >
          > > There is a fine line in some of the Student Information Systems
          that allow
          > >
          > > communications between teachers and parents/students...so I'm
          excluding
          > > those
          > > in my comments because they are single-purpose, not true email
          accounts.
          > >
          > > In the sequence of 101 tasks that a school district must perform
          as they
          > > move from laying the basic foundations of educational
          technologies to the
          > > higher
          > > level technology solutions, email accounts come toward the
          end...somewhere
          > >
          > > around 90-101. So many districts remain so far behind
          (infrastructure,
          > > equipment, tool software, web sites, professional development,
          support
          > > staff, etc.),
          > > that they won't get to email accounts for many years.
          > >
          > > That's my two cent's worth.
          > >
          > > Eric Willard
          > > Director of Technology
          > > CUSD 300
          > > Carpentersville, IL
          > > 847.426.1300 ext. 337
          > > _eric.willard@... <_eric.willard%40d300.org>_ (mailto:
          > > eric.willard@... <eric.willard%40d300.org>)
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Nancy Willard
          For the record, I do not always enjoy being the one who focuses attention on darkside issues. But that is my role. But be aware that if students are able to
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 1, 2006
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            For the record, I do not always enjoy being the one who focuses attention on
            darkside issues. But that is my role.

            But be aware that if students are able to communicate through the district
            system ‹ either through school district accounts or webmail accounts they
            can access while at school, then the school can potentially be held liable
            if students use this communication in a way that harms other students. Here
            is from my Educator¹s Guide to Cyberbullying:

            Liability

            When must a school respond to cyberbullying and cyberthreats?

            District liability concerns are raised when cyberbullying or cyberthreats
            are occurring through district Internet system or via a personal digital
            device on campus. The parents of a target may file a claim based on
            negligence or a civil rights violation, if the target is a member of a
            protected class under state or federal law. Schools have a duty to exercise
            reasonable precautions against student cyberbullying through the district
            Internet system and via personal digital devices on campus. Although there
            is no case law in this area, reasonable precautions should include:

            Policy provisions that prohibit the use of the district Internet system and
            personal digital devices on campus to bully or harass other students.

            Education to students and staff about these policies.

            Effective supervision and monitoring, which should likely include
            intelligent technical monitoring of Internet use.

            A vehicle for students to report cyberbullying and cyberthreats
            confidentially or anonymously.

            An established procedure to respond to such reports.

            Nancy

            --
            Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
            Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
            http://csriu.org
            http://cyberbully.org
            nwillard@...

            Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
            Cruelty, Threats, and Distress, a resource for educators, is now available
            online at http://cyberbully.org

            Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Use the Internet
            Safely and Responsibly. Jossey-Bass (forthcoming)




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Tami Brass
            In the past, my school has provided email accounts which functioned only on our intranet. It made controlling content a little easier, but kids boycotted it
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 1, 2006
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              In the past, my school has provided email accounts which functioned only on our intranet. It made controlling content a little easier, but kids boycotted it because they couldn't access from home.

              This year, we started using paid Gaggle accounts (http://www.gaggle.net). Although we've had resistance from some kids because they don't like the idea that their email is "filtered" and easily accessed by faculty, it's been pretty successful. We were able to create accounts easily and use a standard naming convention and standardized student account configurations. Kids can access anywhere with Internet. We can restrict as needed, if needed.

              I realize that no filter is perfect and that no product is perfect, but it's nice to have this option available to teachers and kids.

              One side benefit... As many of our students have laptops, parents email them throughout the day rather than leaving messages as frequently. Parents are also able to better keep in touch with their digital kids (we don't allow cells in school).

              Tami Brass
              MS Technology Coordinator
              St. Paul Academy & Summit School
              http://www.spa.edu
              http://www.tech4teaching.org
              tamilb@...
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