The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below have been categorized into two groups: Parents and Students. Regardless of your role, please read through all FAQs.
Q. What does it mean to be a Google District?
A. In some respects, having this change to a new software package branded with the Google name and having this well-known name front-and-center is selling this process short. Although the Google software products provide tremendous functionality, this migration represents a deeper shift in how work gets done. Although it is early in the process, the District has embarked on a journey to leverage these tools to help increase efficiency, facilitate communication and support the already great work being done by our students, faculty and staff.
Q. Are other schools using Google Apps for Education?
A. Many K-12 districts as well as colleges and universities have moved to the use of Google products. The degree of adoption does vary by district. Some districts choose to use Google productivity apps but maintain a separate, non-Google email system. Others, such as Shaker, have adopted the entire product suite. Locally, Orange City School, Beachwood City Schools, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools, Hathaway Brown and John Carroll University use Google tools.
Q. What makes Google for Education different from the free Google accounts available to the public?
A. Gmail is one application (or app) in the Google Apps suite of products. Other apps include Docs (think Microsoft Word), Sheets (think Excel), Slides (think PowerPoint). It is very easy for anyone to sign up and be given a public Google Apps account. Google for Education, does provide the same set of digital tools but differentiates itself from its publicly available counterpart in several key ways.
| Public Google Apps
|| Google Apps for Education
|Limited storage space
||Unlimited storage space
|Data is used for targeted advertising
||Data is not used for targeted advertising
|Unable to control access to the various apps - if you have an account, you can use everything.
||District is able to control who can access the various apps and at what level (see Gmail FAQ below)
|Account is created by user
||Account is created by school district within district's Google Domain and provided to the user
Q. Can student account activity be investigated by the District or parents?
A. Yes. A limited number of District administrators have the ability to review, when necessary, student activity within the Shaker Google Apps domain. This includes emails sent/received and documents created/stored in Google. The District also encourages parents to discuss their Google account with their student(s). Parents may choose to access their student's Google account at their discretion. This would require the student to share with their parent username and password information.
Q. What Google Apps will be available to students?
Q. Will Gmail will be available to all students?
A. No. Using administrative controls built into Google Apps for Education, the District is able to turn on/off apps for student use. In addition, with regard to email use, the District is able to further refine the scope of use for students who have Gmail access. For grade levels with Gmail access, student accounts can be protected by controlling who students can converse with via email. These send/receive controls allow the District to provide an email experience to our students while protecting them from unwanted interactions.
Student Gmail access and send/receive restrictions are as follows:
| Grade Levels
||Does not apply.
||Students can only send to and receive from other @shaker.org or @stu.shaker.org addresses.
||None. Students can send to and receive from any email address.
Q. What about student privacy?
Q. Does the District offer any digital citizenship and/or online safety training for students?
A. Yes. The District has always provided curriculum to students regarding safe use of the Internet and online resources. With the advent of student Google accounts the importance of this curriculum is elevated. Shaker Schools has completed the requirements to become a Commons Sense Media Certified District
which provides a high quality digital citizenship curriculum that is provided to Shaker students. Please check out the Common Sense Media
site and consider introducing it to your student as well.
Q. Will this change how I log onto a computer at school?
A. Yes. students not only have Google accounts but, in addition, all students will have local network accounts. This means students will no longer log into school computers using a generic student username and password but, instead, will use their own network credentials (exception: students in grades K-4 will be able to utilize generic building logins).
Upon returning to school in August, students will use their username and a default password in order to gain access to the Shaker network. Once the District has received a student's permission form indicating they are allowed to have a Google account, a Shaker Google account will be created. The creation of this account will force students in grades 6-12 to change their password upon their next network log on. This will sync a student's network password with their Google account. From that point, students will log onto the Shaker network and their Google account using the same username and password.
Q. What is my network username?
A. Your Shaker network username will follow the pattern, <first initial><last name>. In the event of duplicate usernames, a numeral is appended to the last name. So, for example, Joe Smith would be 'jsmith' and Jane Smith would be 'jsmith1'.
Q. What is my Google username?
A. Student Google usernames are the same as network usernames with the addition of '@stu.shaker.org' appended to the end. So, for example, Joe Smith would be firstname.lastname@example.org and Jane Smith would be email@example.com.
Q. I have a personal Google account I have been using for some time, do I have to use the Shaker Google account?
A. It is important to separate your online presence between work and personal. The District asks that you use your Shaker account for school work and your personal accounts for correspondence not related to Shaker. This approach is common in business and higher education settings and is in your best interest as a user.
Q. Will I keep my Shaker Google account if I leave the district or graduate?
A. Students exiting the District will be given a one-month time period to migrate data from their Shaker Google account to either a personal Google account or another service. After one month, the exiting student's account will be disabled for an additional month then deleted.
There are two means of exporting your Shaker Google Apps data in order to take it with you.
- Google Takeout: This is a free service built into Google Apps. A tutorial video on how to use Takeout is located here.
- GradGopher: This is a paid service built specifically for taking data with you upon exiting the district. The site can be found here. NOTE: Shaker Heights Schools does not provide support on the use of GradGopher nor does it have any affiliation with the product.
A feature comparison between Takeout and GradGopher can be found by clicking the "GG vs. Free" menu option on the GradGopher site