Understanding Safety Risks and Removing Obstacles with Google Apps for Education

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that schools have more than just a website filter. CIPA also states that schools must have technology measures in place to protect against visual depictions that are obscene or pornographic.

Unfortunately, inappropriate conversations between students and others are not uncommon throughout Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Not only are students having these conversations, they’re also sending inappropriate pictures of themselves and deleting them afterwards.

Watch the short “Real Students. Real Stories” video below for just one example.

In GAFE’s Admin Console, districts can create their own “Objectionable Content Policies” by creating blocked words lists and assigning multiple users (administrators) to be notified. This gives the administrator(s) the opportunity to review the message and handle the situation per district or school policies.

With Gaggle Safety Management for Google Apps, controls are already set—and regularly updated—to filter text and images. Student Safety Representatives monitor content and alert emergency contacts and even law enforcement of questionable content or possible student situations, allowing schools to be more proactive and prevent instances of cyberbullying, sexual exploitation, grooming, suicide and more.

Here are some ways to get started using GAFE for safe classroom collaboration:

• Ensure GAFE is configured properly. Go through an in-depth review of your GAFE domain against best practices. Each setting in your Admin Console is analyzed and documented, then recommendations are set forth to create a tailored GAFE road map for your school.

• Create a “Chrome-only” browser policy. A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy will not be as successful without rules regarding web browsers. For GAFE users, it’s a simple choice: Chrome.

• Delegate admin rights. Students who forget passwords—intentionally or unintentionally—can get back up quickly.

Perhaps your school has made the switch to GAFE as a free alternative to a Learning Management System, or maybe you’ve turned to Gaggle Safety Management for Google Apps to enhance your existing GAFE environment with 24/7 monitoring and filtering of Gmail, Drive, Docs and Calendars. Either way, the ebook “12 Ways to Safely Adopt Google Apps into Your School,” will help your teachers be able to start tomorrow’s school day better prepared to use Google Apps.