Rob Yoegel is the vice president of Marketing for Gaggle. We spoke with him about students safety and what educators can expect ahead of ISTE 2015.
K-12TD: What are the Goals for Gaggle right now as a company?
RY: One of our focuses at ISTE is our safety management system for Google Apps. With the release of Google Classroom last year , the changes to E-rate and with teachers becoming more interested in putting technology into their classrooms, there continues to be a move towards free products like Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom. What’s not talked about when that occurs is safety and digital citizenship. That continues to be a big focus for us.
K-12TD: How can Gaggle help schools make sure students are safe while using these free tools?
RY: Inside Google Apps for Education is a very limited set of tools to ensure students are using Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom properly. We work with districts to provide the filtering, monitoring and control that is found inside of our Safe Classroom learning Management System and apply those same principles to Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom.
We provide districts the ability to filter and monitor all of the content that goes in and out of Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom including anything in Google Drive. That means Google Docs, Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Slides and even Calendar.
K-12TD: How does the filtering and monitoring work?
RY: We have a customizable blocked words list and our proprietary anti-pornography scanners are the machine learning piece. Then we have Student Safety Representatives in Bloomington, IL. who review content for anything that needs to me taken to a district emergency contact. We have three specific emergency contacts inside most of our districts. When there’s a Possible Student Situation, such as self harm or harm to others, we alert them.
K-12TD: What should educators know about Gaggle’s new E-book, 12 Ways to Safely Adopt Google Apps Into Your School?
RY: There’s a lot of content being created by consultants, vendors and publications around implementing Google Apps for Education. One of the things they pretty much all omit is the safety piece. So we created this e-book with our friends at Amplify IT, a Google Apps for Education consultancy. The e-book isn’t entirely focused on safety, but that’s part of it.
K-12TD: What do you hope to get out of ISTE this year?
RY: One of our goals for ISTE is to continue educating customers on the need for that safety piece with Google Apps. We do the same thing for Office 365. So, if you’re a school or district and you’re looking at these free tools we really hope that you evaluate what
controls are inside of tools to ensure your kids are safe.