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EdTech Update




« But haven't we always...? The new normal | Main | 7 opportunities: GoogleApps and school librarians »

MAPS Apps - Letter to Teachers

I have been asked to share documents related to our roll-out of GoogleApps (MAPS Apps) for our students this fall. This is the third. As always, I'd love to hear suggestions for improvement and readers are welcome to use it if they can in their own districts. - Doug

MAPS Apps - Letter to Parents
MAPS Apps - Letter to Students


Fall 2010

Dear Teachers in District 77:

This fall, all students in grades 3-12 will be supplied with MAPSApps.

MAPSApps is a set of online tools for communication, collaboration, time-management, and document storage. Provided by Google to the district at no cost, these tools include:

  • Gmail: a full functioning e-mail program
  • Calendar: a customizable calendar and to-do list
  • Contacts: an address book
  • GoogleDocs: a word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing program that allows multi-user access and editing

Google continues to add new tools and the district will evaluate each for its educational potential. This is basically the same set of tools you as a teacher have had access to since December 2009.

As you know, all of these tools are housed on the Internet and can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer with a web-browser. No special software is required.

The district’s primary reasons for supplying these tools to students are:

  • To give our students practice in using current technology applications and tools, including e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet use, survey development, graphics use and slide show creation
  • To give students planning and time management tools (and skills)
  • To facilitate “paperless” communication and transfer of work between students and teachers
  • To provide adequate (seven gigabyte) long-term storage space for student work
  • To help students work collaboratively, engage in peer-editing of documents, and publish for a wider audience

There is also a cost savings to the district since fewer licenses for commercial copies of programs will need to be purchased and less file storage space needs to be maintained.

To ensure the safety of our students, MAPSApps student domains will be “closed.” This means that students can only e-mail and share documents with you, their teachers, and other students within the district. The applications also have spam filtering enabled.

Library media specialists will be reviewing our district’s acceptable use policy and Internet safety guidelines when they introduce these tools to students. Using online tools responsibly will be an important part of the learning experience. (Please see the attached procedure if an inappropriate student use is suspected.)

We hope that you will take advantage of students’ having access to MAPS Apps by allowing assignments to be submitted electronically, using the program for collaborative work, and encouraging students to communicate with you electronically.

Please contact me or your child’s library media specialist if you have questions about MAPS Apps.


Doug Johnson

Inappropriate MAPS Apps Usage Procedure*

Dear school staff,

The purpose of this document is outline a procedure if a student receives inappropriate content within their MAPS Apps account (in a document or e-mail). Student confidentiality will be protected throughout this process.

If a student discovers inappropriate content:

1. The student reports the incident to the classroom teacher or other adult supervisor.
2. The supervising adult requests that the objectionable content not be deleted.
3. The supervising adult informs the library media specialist and building principal.
4. The library media specialist contacts the district technology director via e-mail, sending

  • A screenshot and description of the offense
  • Username of student receiving the inappropriate content

5. The district technology director will work to determine the original source of the inappropriate content and will report to the building principal the outcome of the findings.
6. The building principal determines the consequence of the action if needed.

* Modeled on the Osseo (MN) schools procedure´╗┐


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Reader Comments (6)

Hi, Doug,

Can you set up Gmail so that certain accounts are "closed" and others are "open"? I'm thinking about how it would be nice if, say, grades 3-6 were closed and 7-12 were open, just as an example.


August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRuss Goerend

Hi Russ,

Sorry to take so long to respond.

It looks like we are pretty much going to have to be all open - we can't find a way to restrict any accounts to be internal only.

But we are still experimenting and Google keeps making improvements!


September 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Hi Doug,

In reading your letter, you mention that the system is closed to sharing outside the domain. In my district here in VT we are also looking to set up 5 & 6 grade accounts using Postini to limit who students can contact. The problem I'm trying to solve is how to limit Docs sharing? Email is straightforward using the Postini controls. i don't see how to limit document sharing with anyone on the internet with a Google account.

I appreciate any guidance you might be able to offer.


October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob Owens

Hi Bob,

We discovered we don't have the tools necessary to prohibit kids from sharing outside the district (and have since revised this letter.) Kid have to consciously do this, however, and we feel it is still OK. Hoping Google will continue to add manageability to subdomains for some additional control.'


October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

I am researching g best practice of rolling Google Apps for Education out. I am looking for letter to parents and permission forms. I ran across yours. I would like to use parts of it. According to the date of the first post, you have been using Google for awhile. Any tips or amazing web resources for a new school going Google?


September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndi

Hi Andi,

Please use as you can. Everything on the blog and my webpage are under Creative Common license.

Good luck!


September 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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