The Garrett County Public School System (GCPS) has entered into an agreement with Google to become a “Google Apps for Education” (GAFE) district. As a result, students and staff of Garrett County Public Schools are now able to use Google Apps as an organizational unit in a safe and efficient manner under the garrettcountyschools.org domain. Teachers and staff have been using GAFE apps including Google Mail and Google Drive (Docs) since the summer of 2013. Garrett County is one of several school systems in Maryland to adopt the use of GAFE including Prince George’s and Kent counties. Google Apps of Education have proven to be reliable, safe, and productive for our staff. Google provides this service to school systems free of charge and ads.
As a result of the success we have had implementing GAFE for our staff, the Garrett County Public School System has enabled Google accounts for all students in grades K-12 for Google Drive (Docs) access only. Email (Google Mail) will not be enabled for students which will prohibit access to email through student GAFE accounts. Students will be expected to use their Google accounts in accordance with Garrett County Board of Education policies and procedures. To help ensure students are accountable to adhering to GCPS policy, we have contracted with a content filtering service known as “Gaggle.” The use of the Gaggle content filtering service, along with web content filtering will help ensure that students are using their Google accounts in an appropriate, responsible and safe manner.
As a cloud based service, students will have access to their Google Drive accounts 24/7, anywhere, from any device by signing into google.com with their GCPS login name. Google Drive provides unlimited data storage per student account along with a host of cloud-based productivity apps including those for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Over the past couple of years, Garrett County Public Schools has made great strides to expanding educational technology services to its students and staff. Student access to Google Drive is just one of many exciting initiatives being implemented during the 2014-2015 school year that will enhance teaching and learning in Garrett County schools.
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