Students in Bethel School District have access to a suite of free, web-based programs designed for schools called Google Apps for Education. Google Apps for Education provides a secure online environment where students and teachers can collaborate on projects and assignments. Students have access to applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and forms in the suite. Access to these applications and our class’ online environment is restricted to Bethel students and teachers and requires a district-provided login.
Student logins are created by the district each school year with parent permission. Permission slips go home in the fall and need to be signed and returned in order for students to get a login assigned to them. Login credentials are deleted after each school year and parents must provide new consent each year. Additionally, student passwords are entirely confidential and will not be shared. Please note that although the login credentials take the form of what looks like an email address (ex. firstname.lastname@example.org), these are not email addresses.
Since Google Apps for Education is an online resource, students can login to their account from any computer or mobile device with internet access. This also means that students can start a project or essay at school and finish it at home or vice versa. Google also features a continuous auto-save, so even if the computer’s battery dies, the power goes out or the student walks away from their work and is automatically logged off, their work will not be lost. Google was even so smart as to provide back-ups to previous editions of documents in the event content was accidentally deleted.
Another fantastic Google-provided tool is Google Classroom. The same login credentials that get students into the Google Docs suite will give them access to our private virtual classroom supported in Google. In Classroom, the teacher can post tools, resources, announcements and assignments in each student’s feed. Students can open a posted assignment, complete the task and electronically turn it into the teacher — all without a single sheet of paper! Teachers receive notices when assignments are submitted and can provide written feedback and grades in real-time.
Getting on Google Apps
To access Google Apps, students can follow these steps:
- Go to the Bethel Google Drive Login page (You can also find this link on Bethel’s homepage by scrolling down the page and finding “Bethel Google Drive” on the left-hand side).
- Enter the student’s username and password.
- Once there, open or create a new document, spreadsheet, presentation or form.
Parent Permission Slips
Students need parent permission for the district to create a Google account in order for the district and Google to be used in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998. This form is part of the registration packet, so most students automatically have their form on file. If you declined permission and want to change your authorization or your student doesn’t have a permission form on file, you can download the permission form here.