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Google Updates & Changes

posted Sep 23, 2016, 4:41 AM by Mark Willis

Google Calendars

Staff and students now have the ability to share their primary Google Calendars with external users.  They can share their primary calendars to allow up to read and write permission levels with non-District Google Apps accounts.


YouTube has been enabled for all staff, allowing teachers to upload their own videos for use in the classroom.  Educators must use YouTube videos for educational purposes only and must tag their videos as educational.  And remember that, for any video that contains students, you must have prior written consent from guardians for the student to be in the video.

Google has also changed the terms of service for YouTube, requiring written consent from every student’s parent or guardian, which is something that the District we cannot do at this time.  As a result, students may only view YouTube videos while not logged into Google within a web browser.  Depending on the browser or operating system, students may experience some issues viewing YouTube videos.  We will continue to monitor and update accounts where possible to mitigate the changes made by Google.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics, Tag Manager, and Data Studio (beta) are now available for all staff members to use.  Google has changed the terms of service for Analytics such that we cannot make it available to our students at this time.

Google Classroom

Classroom now features summary emails which can be sent to parents and guardians who request it.  The feature cannot be managed centrally, so each teacher will need to decide whether or not to use it, and will be responsible for maintaining the list of guardian email subscribers for each Classroom. Teachers are responsible for ensuring they are not sharing any personal student information in the title or description of Google Classroom assignments, announcements or questions. The District is currently designing a process to create Google Apps accounts for student teachers and guest teachers, using a different trusted email domain.  Additional details will be coming in the near future.  The District will not be implementing any whitelisted (Hyperlink)  Google Classroom domains from universities or partners at this time.

Gmail and Google Contacts

Staff will no longer need to import the email addresses of student into Google Contacts.  The auto-complete function has been enabled for all students, so staff should be able to locate every student by ID number – this applies to Gmail, Drive, and Classroom.

Staff and student may now use IMAP to connect to their Gmail messages from email clients like Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.  Use of POP3 will remain disabled.  Please note that support for other email clients is limited, and the District will encourage users to continue using the Gmail web interface.  For help setting up an IMAP client, follow these directions, starting with Step 2.


Google Chrome and Chromebooks

Google is taking even more steps toward deprecating websites which use Adobe Flash.  Beginning in September, Google will be updating the Chrome browser to further block the ability of website developers from using Flash.  Staff and students may find that some favorite resources are no longer available on Chromebooks or in the Chrome browser.  The District has no control over the direction or pace of the changes implemented by Google, but we will work with key partners to transition away from Flash-based content and toward new standards like HTML5.  If you experience issues with Flash-based sites, you may want to reach out to the content publishers, to find how they will be handling the transition to HTML5-based content.  https://chrome.googleblog.com/2016/08/flash-and-chrome.html