Who Owns Your Data?

I have been reviewing many questions recently about storing data in the Cloud. With so many districts moving to Google Apps I decided to put together some resources on data ownership and privacy. I hope you find this helpful:

Who owns the data that organizations put into Google Apps?

Resource: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106876

  1. Google won’t share your data with others except as noted in their Privacy Policy.
  2. They keep your data as long as you require them to keep it.
  3. You should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.

The best tool for taking your data with you is Google’s Data Liberation Front at http://www.dataliberation.org/. You can even use this tool to export all of your Google Docs out of your personal Google Account and import them into your school Apps account.

Security and Privacy – FAQ’s

Resource: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60762

In Google’s Security Whitepaper, they cover, in detail, some of the issues we find ourselves talking about with Administrators and even Board of Education members before we can utilize Google Apps. Some of these issues include:

  • Google corporate security policies
  • Systems development and maintenance
  • Regulatory compliance

Google Apps is a technology platform schools can trust

Resource: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/privacy.html

Here you will find the following:

  • Google complies with applicable US privacy law, and the Google Apps Terms of Service can specifically detail their obligations and compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations.
  • They offer Google Apps Education Edition to schools for free. It’s also completely ad-free — which means your school’s content is not processed by Google’s advertising systems.
  • To reduce exploit risks, each Google server is custom-built with only the necessary software components, and the homogeneous server architecture enables rapid updates and configuration changes across the entire network when necessary.

I’m hoping folks will find this information useful as they field questions from their colleagues and possibly even parents of the students they work with.


I love, Love, LOVE Technology, but…

Source: http://muskokagirl.ca

I recently received an e-mail from a private school teacher down in South Jersey. She wrote that she had heard me speak at the NJETI conference at Stockton this past May.  She said that although her school technology has come far, they are still behind. The school does not have a network, Wi-Fi, or even school e-mail for the teachers.

I want to change that!!!!

Teri Matus wants to get the computers in the lab networked. She wants to be able to use free resources like Google Apps. She wants to get the staff communicating. She wrote, “I want to change that!!!” after she listed what was not happening in her school.

I am sure that there are lots of enriching and engaging projects and activities going on in Teri’s school. I am sure that the students are immersed in learning. But are they having experiences with the technology they will need in higher ed and in their careers?

I suggested the following three sites as sources for funding. But there has to be more.

  1. http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/grants
  2. http://www.donorschoose.org/
  3. http://www.bbycommunications.com/crnew/teach.asp

I don’t think that the need here is the hardware. The need is for support. Teri’s school needs someone to create a network (including e-mail and Wi-Fi) and then to maintain that network.  Please help Teri and I find outlets for private schools to get technology funding. If you would leave a link, name of an organization, or even a success story as a comment, perhaps we can help get this private school, and its students, better prepare for their futures.

What My Droid Does – Part 8

With the upgrade to Froyo (Android 2.2) there are many new features available on Android phones. There’s a complete list at the Verizon website, but here are some of the highlights:

Source: Gizmodo.com
  • Easily switch between the eight most recent applications.
  • Text Message Widget.  You can scroll up and down
  • through the list of all your text conversations in one screen.
    Also, you can call a number back immediately from text messages.)
  • Automatic app updates including an “Update All” feature.
  • Instantly know the strength of your signal with improved
    signal display.
  • Updated People application to accommodate contacts with
    Facebook accounts.

Updates to the Android operating system seem to be coming pretty quickly with the next version, Gingerbread, due out in the fourth quarter of 2010. All the android versions are named after food. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_%28operating_system%29

  • 1.5 is Cupcake
  • 1.6 is Donut
  • 2.0/2.1 is Eclair
  • 2.2 is Froyo
  • 2.6 will be gingerbread
  • After that…Honeycomb??

So, where is a good place to go if you need answers to some of your Droid questions?  My favorite forum is at http://androidforums.com. Here seems to be where I can get the answers to my questions about the operating system.  But Mashable has been a great source for learning about the different apps that are available in the Marketplace. Check out some of these resource lists that they have compiled:

So, that’s a lot of apps to review, so I wanted to bring your attention to one that I think is fantastic.

QR Code for Congress


I like the ease in which you can contact via the phone your local district reps, keep up-to-date on what laws are bring introduced to Congress and search by “just introduced” as well as by the legislature name, state or zip code. The app developers list:

  • Read the latest bills, laws, and see what bills were recently voted on.
  • Find members of Congress by using your phone’s location, a zipcode, a last name, or a state.
  • Read tweets and watch videos from members’ Twitter and YouTube accounts.
  • Reply to a member of Congress on Twitter from within the app, using your own account.

Where is Google’s Wonder Wheel?

If you have been using Google’s Wonder Wheel when searching on the Web you may not have noticed that it has disappeared.

Here is where we used to find it:

Google's Wonder Wheel

But if you have recently enabled Google Instant, it will no longer be visible to you. Should you prefer to have access to the Wonder Wheel, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to http://google.com
  2. In the upper right hand corner, click on Settings
  3. Click on Search Settings
  4. Scroll down until you see Google Instant
  5. Click the radio dot next to Google Instant

You can always re-enable Google Instant, but as of right now, the two features will not work together.

I hope that helps.

50 FREE Open Courses on Teaching With Technology

Online Colleges and Universities has published a really useful list of open courses on teaching with technology. This comes at the right time as some of our budgets allow for little professional development. Some of the institutions represented in the list are:

MIT President, Charles M. Vest, anticipates that within ten years, lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments for over 2000 MIT classes will be freely available on the OCW Web site. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci540010,00.html

Among the list of 50 courses are:

Creativity, Community and ICT
This unit engages with the debates surrounding the term ‘creativity’ and explores ways in which ICT creates new opportunities for creativity and collaborative working.

Understanding Online Interaction
This course is designed to provide an introductory level of understanding of the manner in which individuals interact with one another via the network.

Technologies for Creative Learning
This course explores the design of innovative educational technologies and creative learning environments, drawing on specific case studies such as the LEGO® Programmable Brick, Scratch software and Computer Clubhouse after-school learning centers.

Interactive Multimedia Production
This course familiarizes students with Macromedia Flash. Topics to be covered include fundamental programming concepts (variables, variable types, code re-use, commenting code, and basic control structures) in addition to the fundamentals of the flash environment.

Teaching Using Digital Video in Secondary Schools
This unit explores the role of digital media as a teaching tool, focusing on video in particular.

One or more of these FREE professional development opportunities may be of use to you or someone you know.
Check out the complete list at http://www.onlinecollegesanduniversities.com/2010/09/05/50-excellent-open-courses-on-teaching-with-technology/