Chromebook FAQs

  • Orchard Park Middle School is excited about our 1:1 Chromebook initiative and the use of Google Apps for Education. While we know students and parents are excited too, we know that there are going to be questions.
     
    We have tried to address some of the more common Frequently Asked Questions in this space. We will continue to update these questions and answers as necessary. As always, direct questions to your child's teacher, Mr. Grupka, or the Technology Office, at 209-6219.
     

    Frequently Asked Questions
    What is Google Apps for Education?
    Google Apps for Education (GAFE) provides a robust, low cost (actually free), cloud-based platform that is a good fit for achieving district teaching and learning goals. GAFE is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by the Orchard Park Central School District.  GAFE will provide the ability for OPCSD students, faculty and staff to communicate, store files, and collaborate in real time from school, work, or home, all within a secure online environment.
     
    Students will have access to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and many other educational apps that will connect to their Google Drive. These tools will be used to collaborate, create, edit, and share files and websites for school-related projects and communicate via email with other students and teachers. These services are entirely online and available 24/7 from any Internet-connected computer. The use of GAFE at OP Middle School will be monitored and supported this school year to identify best practices. We will also gather data in regards to the impact on teaching and learning in and out of the classroom.
     
    What kind of APPLICATIONS are on the devices?
    There are thousands of apps available for Chromebooks covering a wide variety of topics. The apps, which run in the Chrome browser, are downloadable through the Chrome Web Store.
     
    Can students download apps?
    No. Student access to the web store is limited.
     
    How can students submit work or assignments via their devices?
    Google Drive and GAFE have features built into it that allow work to be “shared” between teachers and even classmates. Students can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, photos, presentations and even videos. Each item can be “shared” with a teacher prior to its due date. The teacher can then see the work on his or her own computer to review it or grade it for the student.
     
    Can student work be transferred from their Chromebook to another device?
    Student applications, emails, bookmarks, documents, presentations and just anything done in the Chrome browser while a student is logged in is available on another Chrome browser on another device when the student logs in with his or her district email address. The content will be the same on the Chromebook as it is, say, on a PC desktop computer, so long as student are using a Chrome browser and their email login.
     
    Data can also be saved to a USB drive and transported between devices.
     
    Will my child use a Chromebook for every assignment and in every class?
    No. Teachers will continue to make decisions about which tools and resources they feel are the most educationally appropriate for the given task. The extent to which Chromebooks and GAFE will be used will vary from teacher to teacher as well as from student to student. 
     
    How is one student's Chromebook distinguished from another student?
    All the Chromebooks are the same, so they look very much alike. However, each Chromebook will be tagged with a sticker with the student’s name and student ID number on it. Additionally, district asset tags with bar codes will be on each device and each device has a serial number. The district keeps all that data, so if a Chromebook is misplaced, we can determine who it is assigned to get it back to the student user. Any ID stickers that are on the Chromebook when issued must stay on the Chromebook. No additional permanent markings of any kind (stickers, engraving, permanent ink pen, tape, etc.) shall be placed on the Chromebook at any time. While the devices are issued to students, they are still district-owned property. Additional permanent markings on the device will be considered vandalism.
     
    Will the Chromebooks ever leave the building?
    At this point, 8th grade students will be allowed to take their Chromebooks home. Sixth and seventh Chromebooks will remain at school.
     
    Will unsafe or inappropriate websites be filtered on the devices?
    We do our best to ensure our children's online experience is safe. Before each Chromebook device connects to the Internet, it must pass through district network firewalls and filters. Because of security settings built into the device, it must first route its Internet connection back through our district security settings (firewalls and filters) before any website or online resource is accessible. Our web filters are programmed to block inappropriate content as much as possible.
     
    Will devices be kept by students over summer?
    No. Devices will be turned in at the end of the school year so the district can do maintenance on them. Devices will be re-issued at the start of the school year to continuing students. Devices issued to students who leave the district (move, graduate, etc.) will be reformatted and re-issued to other students on an as-needed basis.
     
    Are other districts doing this?
    Yes. We've been in contact with other districts around the state that have done one-to-one technology rollouts for students, including using Chromebook devices. Before our Chromebook launch, we've sought advice on how to move forward from other one-to-one districts, learning from them what's worked well and how to avoid certain problems.
     
    There are also online resources about one-to-one programs in K-12 schools and we are using tips and advice from those sources, as well.
     
    Can my child opt out of having a Chromebook?
    No. Chromebooks are expected to become an integral part of the education all students receive at the Orchard Park Central School District and we want them to take advantage of the powerful learning resources available with it. .
     
    How does Google Apps for Education and OPCSD protect student privacy?
    Google is a Student Privacy Pledge Signatory.
     
    The Student Privacy Pledge will hold school service providers accountable to:
    • Not sell student information
    • Not behaviorally target advertising
    • Use data for authorized education purposes only
    • Not change privacy policies without notice and choice
    • Enforce strict limits on data retention
    • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information
    • Provide comprehensive security standards
    • Be transparent about collection and use of data.
     
    • There are NO ADS in Google Apps for Education.
    • Google Apps for Education services do not collect or use student data for advertising purposes or create advertising profiles.
     
    Additional Information regarding Google Apps Privacy:
     
    These laws, regulations and policies assist in protecting our students online:
     
    Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
    The school is required by CIPA to have technology measures and policies in place that protect students from harmful materials including those that are obscene and pornographic. This means that student email is filtered. Mail containing harmful content from inappropriate sites will be blocked.
     
    Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
    COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. By default, Google advertising is turned off for Apps for Education users. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. This permission form allows the school to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within the school context. The school’s use of student information is solely for educational purposes.
     
    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (name, phone, address, grade level, etc...) but parents may request that the school not disclose this information.
    • The school will not publish confidential academic records (grades, student ID #, etc...) for public viewing on the Internet.
    • The school may publish student work and photos for public viewing but will not publish student last names or other personally identifiable information.
    • Parents may request that photos, names and general directory information about their children not be published.
    • Parents have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child’s email and Apps for Education files.
     
    How does use of Chromebooks and GAFE relate to the District's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)?
    Students will follow school policies for appropriate use when using Internet-based services like Web 2.0 applications and Google Apps for Education (GAFE). These services are considered an extension of the school’s network. Students have no expectation of privacy in their use of GAFE. School Administrators have the right and ability to monitor user accounts for policy and security enforcement.
     
    The student Acceptable Use Policy will be enforced. School staff will monitor student use of applications when students are at school. Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of applications when accessing programs from home. Using Google Education tools, students can collaboratively create, edit and share files and websites for school-related projects and may communicate via email with other students and teachers. These services are entirely online and available 24/7 from any Internet-connected device. Students are responsible for their own behavior at all times. All student email is archived.