I have been asked to share documents related to our roll-out of GoogleApps (MAPS Apps) for our students this fall. This is the first. 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
Dear Parents and Guardians of Students in District 77:
This fall, all students in grades 3-8 will be supplied with a new resource, 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
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.
Our primary reasons for supplying these tools to students are:
- To give our students practice in using current technology applications and tools
- To give students the ability to work on common, no-cost tools on their own documents both at school and outside of school
- To facilitate “paperless” 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 will need to be maintained.
To ensure the safety of our students, MAPSApps student domains are “closed.” This means that students can only e-mail and share documents with 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 ask your student about this new resource and have him/her demonstrate how it works to you. And please contact me or your child’s library media specialist if you have questions about MAPS Apps.
(Yes, we have newer computers in the district than the picture would suggest. I just think the older ones make for prettier photos.)