Does using Google Apps mean my Microsoft Office software is obsolete?
Not at all. Google Apps still has some limitations, so we suggest students use their usual software and upload documents to Google docs only when needed. The beauty of this system is that students can upload and manipulate any version of Word document, Excel spread sheet or PowerPoint presentation without those annoying version errors. Students can also edit these things with friends online and in real-time.
Do I have to buy anything for my child to take advantage of these new initiatives?
No, as long as you child has a device connected to the internet, there is no expense associated with these initiatives.
Should I have a computer at home connected to the internet if my child is in primary school?
Yes. We recommend that students have access to a computer that is connected to the internet throughout their primary & secondary education.
My child already uses Gmail and online tools, surely they already have the necessary skills?
It is our experience that whilst this generation of children are using many new online resources, most students still lack technical expertise in a wide range of programs and software. In particular, students need explicit instruction and guidance about how to become cyber smart and proficiently in online environments.
Is there any safety issues I should know about?
Yes. Online environments are real-time and widely accessible. This means that students can be engaged in chat or email conversations that are fast flowing and easy to abuse if not correctly monitored. Web page “push technology” means that some web sites will produce “pop-ups” that may lure students to venture onto sites that are inappropriate. At Parklands we have good systems in place to monitor and police online traffic therefore minimising the potential for misuse. However, nothing is fool proof.
At home, parents should look into adequate filtering software that may assist in the monitoring of what your child is doing. However, nothing replaces good old fashioned supervision. Take a look at http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/ for more information.
Will Google Apps work on my child’s iPad?
Yes, absolutely. Devices like iPads were made for this type of online experience.
Are the teaching staff using Google Apps?
Teachers have been using Google Apps for the past 4 years. At this stage, we are satisfied with all that Google offers educational institutions. Secondary teachers are required to create and maintain Google Sites, forming the basis for their planning.