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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@...)
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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