[SOLVED]: Secured student email on Google Apps for Education.

How-Tos

How I secured student email on Google Apps for Education so students can only email each other and staff at school addresses.

I’m consulting with two middle schools on implementing Google Apps for Education. In both schools we are following a “viral” style of adoption, meaning we’ve started the service, and are working with a few interested teachers, who have found a few interested students, who in turn are using the service more, and getting others slowly into the fold. Our big struggle now is to make student accounts only be able to send and receive email only within our domain. I had great difficulty finding solid simple info on this on the web, so I’m posting my findings here as we progress.

If you’re NOT using Postini

Postini is a third party, blessed by Google, that filters and controls your email before it gets to your Google installation).

I don’t know if you SHOULD use Postini or not. I have found Postini has more control over all aspects of mail, but Google seems to be slowly building into Google parts of Postini that people use the most, and Postini is more complex. It also archives better too I think.

Since January 2011 Google allows you to control email right within Google Apps for Education. You can make sub-organization and let them only email people within their domain, and also not be able to receive email from anyone outside the domain. See: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=177482

You can also easily shut “off” email for subgroup now in Google without Postini. But that means that group, say students, can’t email each other at all. I think that’s a hassle because it is generally good to have teachers and students, within their domain, be able to email each other.

If you are using Postini


1. Activate Postini.

Google has a guide here on how to Activate Postini. I took notes below while I followed it.

You’ve got to be able to mess with MX records in the “cpanel” of your domain controls. This is who you registered your domain (blah.com) with. It has a log in and password and often rather easy controls. Or be in tight and responsive communication with an IT person who can. I activated Positini by Registering our Service with Postini in myApps control panel while managing my Apps domain.

Postini activate

Activation Sequence

A notice came up on my Apps Dashboard when Postini was activated. I followed the directions.

MX Record Instructions

And Changed the MX Records with my domain hosting service.

Example of MX Records Changed

I’m now waited a day or so.

Waiting…

And then did Step #4 and #5 in the Postini Activation Guide

2. Configure Postini

I downloaded the PDF: Using Postini Message Security with Google Apps Education Edition

configure postini for student safe email

Using Postini Once Activated

I signed in as a admin, and went to

Once I saw this screen.

I printed the PDF: Using Postini Message Security with Google Apps Education Edition, locked my office door, and slowly went through it from the first page, while drinking decaf.

Issues:

  1. My first issue was that when creating a new “Sub-Org” the word “Staff” said “already exists” so I changed it to the initials of our school and “_Faculty_Staff” That worked.
  2. Then I had to “Move” all staff and faculty to that “Sub-Org” per the directions. I went to “Users” copied them in bulk to a spreadsheet. Then copied and pasted them in one column. I did a “search and replace” on “.org” and replaced with “.org,”
  3. Then I copied all the addresses with the commas into the “Move” field.
  4. I then continued to  follow the directions in the PDF, even thought I didn’t believe them.

And there was a TYPO!in the directions. On page 12, is says “Filter Type: Choose “does not contain,” but in the graphic you’ll see “does not match regex” and that is right. See below.

Internal Inbound Mail
(W|^)[w.+-]{0,25}@(putneycentral).org(W|$)
 Any Rule
 Sender
 Does NOT Match Regex
 Bounce

Internal Outbound Mail
(W|^)[w.+-]{0,25}@(putneycentral).org(W|$)
 Any Rule
 Recipient
 Does NOT Match Regex
 Bounce

It works! Students can email each other and faculty within the domain. Any emails out get bounced back to them. Any email in from outside, get bounced.

Oy.

Google Maps and Street View Basic Lesson Plan for K-12

How-Tos

Summary

  • Use Google Maps to explore geography, terrain, cities, towns, and photographs from the street (and even snowmobile) view from around the globe.
  • Students take photos using only a Web browser and computer (No camera!) to explore and document cultures around the world, including what they wear, drive, eat, buy, drive, landmarks, cultural icons, businesses, historic buildings, etc.
  • Parents, community members, and students who have lived around the world give visual tours of their home towns

Tools Needed: Web browser. High Speed Internet connection

New 3D views

Short Street View Overview

Teacher Prep

Google Maps is a Web site that uses the same information as Google Earth. Unlike Google Earth, Google Maps does not require downloading software. Google has worked out deals with the world’s governments and industries to access their map information for street, typography, weather, distance, and satellite photos into one interface on the Web.

Lets start with a peak at Street View, then we’ll get into all the aspects of Maps

Google has hired cars, people and even snowmobiles to drive around the world taking photos with special 360 degree cameras. They started with cities and are now into smaller and smaller towns. Here’s a Photo of Google Camera Car and Also See the Wikipedia entry on Street View for current mapped places,.

Whenever you’re in Google maps you can drag the “little man icon” above the zoom bar on the left over to any map. If streets turn blue, you can use street view. Your view will change to a photo from the street. Click the photo, then double click, drag, and use the arrow keys to explore.

Ok, now lets start to go through the various other parts of Google Maps

Go To: http://maps.google.com/

  1. Type in “Brattleboro VT”
  2. Explore the tools you see on the screen by clicking on everything you can FEARLESSLY for a few minutes.
  3. Click on “Maps”, “Terrain” and “Satellite”
  4. Click on the left slider bar to zoom in and out. Click and drag the map
  5. Find some town landmarks, your house, school, work.
  6. Try “more” and all the buttons and imagine what government/business data sources Google is accessing
  7. Explore “by walking” “by car” near “directions”
  8. Do the “directions from you house to your school and notice it has the distance and you can drag the blue line to change the path and distance.

Lesson ideas

Foreigner Visit

Foreign parents/students/guests: Teacher uses a projector with Google Maps to “drive” while the guest talks to students about where they are from, went to school, lived, etc. while the teacher shows on the big screen. The teacher uses the projector because that way they can controls things while the guest talks and the guest doesn’t have to know how to use Google Maps at all.

After the short tour of the visitor’s home, students get their laptops out and find their home, and try and figure out when the photo was taken, how far they are from school exactly, etc.

Map Quest

Students use Street View to shoot photos as if they had traveled in person with a camera.

Teacher:

  • Show students Street View of something exciting like Tokyo Japan
  • Show students the cars that take the photos so they understand that the photos are not of everything, only where the cars have driven so far.

Teach them to take a screenshot of anything they see on their screen

  • PC: Windows 7, use the “Snipping Tool” which can be found in the  Start Menu/All Programs/Accessories. Or use the key “Print Screen”, then open the Accessory “Paint” and “Paste” then Save to hard drive.
  • MAC: Press Shift + Command and the number 4. The cursor changes to a cross. Drag the cross down and the left, let go, and the screenshot will be on your desktop.

Quest ideas

  1. Find famous landmarks and take photos
  2. Find your house and take a satellite photo
  3. What time of day and year the photo was taken, by the shadows and weather.
  4. How was are the satellite photos taken, who took it? Where did they take it from?
  5. What year? can you tell by any landmarks?
  6. Where’s north?

Other resources