Saturday, March 31, 2012

You are Prey - Educating Principals and Others about GoogleForms


Original Blog Entry

Vicki "CoolCatTeacher" Davis recently wrote a blog post, Why Schools Shouldn't Use GoogleDocs for Anything Private, as well as responded via Facebook to this topic. I won't spend much time on the problem, except to say that you can go read her blog entry and comments.

A relevant story from my experience--I had a frantic principal call me up one day. She pointed out that she'd filled out a GoogleDoc Form online, submitting information that would be considered confidential and sensitive. She didn't know any better, and I moved immediately to notify Google and "turn in" the form's web address/URL so that action could be taken. Then, I spent some time "closing the barn door" educating her on what may be submitted online, what to watch out for from these types of forms you get via email, etc. These kinds of conversations obviously need to happen in advance. 

I've often heard we should "hold their hand" when discussing principals...that time is over. We need to hold their hand with a definite end-point in mind, with the clear understanding that you either own your learning or you are prey.

Without reservation, I wholeheartedly support the use of GoogleDocs and Forms in school settings. But let's remember FERPA, confidentiality, and to take responsibility for our own learning, as well as help others be better digital citizens.

Update (4/2/2012): Google sent me the following to share with you, asking for removal of the original item, citing confidential info.
Google is working to protect our users' privacy, especially from identity theft. It is not a violation to ask for an email address. While our protection policies occasionally classify some forms as abusing our TOS when they are not, no data is lost and through a review process we can return legitimate forms data to users who created the form. Within a domain, forms are not classified by Google at all.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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