Our students today use many different forms of communication. They communicate daily via texting, social networking, instant messaging, and email. Digital tools are the primary source of communication in both our personal and professional lives. It is important for students to become proficient in the usage of digital tools in order to be successful in the workplace. Utilizing these digital tools in school can provide our students with extra practice in writing conventions and improve overall literacy. In fact, our state education standards now include technology and electronic proficiency requirements.
In order to meet these standards and give our students hands on experience with today’s digital tools, we have obtained student accounts through Gaggle. Gaggle is a safe, web-based Internet system of digital tools that allows the teacher to be in control at all times. Gaggle provides numerous safeguards that protect our students from the potential problems of digital communication. Gaggle allows the school to control what level of access the students have and with whom they can communicate. Gaggle also allows the school to set restrictions on accounts. All student content passes through a number of filters. Messages or posts with offensive language, questionable domains, banned file types, or pornographic images are automatically rerouted either to the Gaggle Human Monitoring System or school representatives.
Ø All users have a Digital Locker, or online file storage system. Files can be uploaded and accessed from anywhere, so students can work on documents anywhere they have web access, without needing a flash or USB drive.
Ø Teachers can create class Discussion Boards for ongoing discussions or homework help, and control which students have access. All postings are filtered and any posts blocked for offensive language and images will be rerouted for review by Gaggle or the school district.
Ø Teachers and students can create a Blog as a personal webpage or journal. Gaggle Blogs are filtered for content and images. The teacher controls access, and entries can be reviewed at any time.
Ø Teachers and students have access to an Assignment DropBox. Students can access and complete their assignments anywhere they have web access.
Ø Additional features include built-in Language Translation,Spell Check, and an Auditory Feedback System that will read emails and Discussion Boards aloud to improve literacy.