As our district prepares for 2 days of in-service, one of our small sessions teachers can select to attend is on our district Google Apps platform. I wanted to take the time with this blog entry to point out the reasons for using a school provided Google Apps account as opposed to a personal account.
1) Keep your personal life separate from your professional one
Kind of a no-brainer but it’s one that as a teacher you really want to make sure that you do. Not only will this help you to stay more organized, but it will also help you to not share too much with your students. For example, your Google account is used for YouTube and Picasa Web Albums. Do you want your own personal play lists for YouTube to be intermixed with the playlists you use in the classroom? If you upload videos to YouTube, it is much better to have the videos you make for the classroom separate from the videos of your pet kitten jumping at the Christmas Tree.
2) Makes it easier for students and other teachers to share Google documents with you
If your school has contact sharing enabled (our school district does), then your Google account is added to an address book for all users with a Google account in your school. When students or other teachers go to share a document with you, they will type your name in the share window. As they type, your name will auto fill in the box. They can simply click on your name and share the document. If you use a personal account that is not going to happen. Users would have to type in your exact username or gmail address. One little typo or mistake and you will not see that document.
3) Other services can be included with a school Google Apps account
Google Apps for Education provides other services that can be activated for a school district. This allows users to have multiple applications in one location, with one log in. Our district has activated Weebly (website creation) , Easy Bib (citation tool) , and Aviary (photo editor) as some of the additional applications that are usable with our school Google accounts.
In summary, if your school district provides Google Apps for Education accounts, take advantage of it. Use that account for all of your school related needs. It will be easier for you to organize and share your professional documents, and it may allow you to access other resources more conveniently.