With increased virtual communication, tasks, CCS should open Google inboxes for students


HiLite Staff

With hybrid and virtual schedules, the need for communication among teachers and students is ever-growing. As teachers prefer different methods of communication such as Canvas messages or emails, students are often confused as there is not a standard method of contact. Virtual students especially rely on these means of communication in order to clarify assignments, grades and questions. These students should not have to debate which communication method to use. 

Furthermore, teachers are implementing more online programs, such as Quizlet, Perusall and AP Classroom that require creating accounts. There is sometimes confusion with this as to whether students should use their school or personal email to sign up. Although there may not be concerns with using school emails to sign up, each program is different and may require students to check their inboxes to verify the sign up, resulting in confusion.

We commend CCS for already setting up Google accounts for every student already, but with the changes this year, email inboxes are becoming more of a necessity as well. Therefore, as the HiLite staff, we recommend that CCS open the inboxes for all CCS Google accounts. Teachers will more easily be able to tell what student sends each email, and there is no risk of emails being marked as spam because of coming from an outside domain. Additionally, students will be able to create accounts on academic websites without confusion regarding which email to use.

While there are many concerns regarding privacy and liability with school emails, this can be addressed with a consent form. Students and parents would be able to understand the terms and conditions of opening a CCS Google inbox. We also acknowledge that students do have means of communicating with their teachers through personal emails or Canvas messaging and the problem is not shared by everyone. 

Additionally, creating CCS Google inboxes for students opens up more potential technological issues that would affect the IT staff. With many assignments being online this year, the IT staff already have encountered several challenges. However, the IT staff could create forms for inbox issues to be able to address them all at once. Doing so also saves teachers troubles, as students are able to directly report their problems to IT staff instead of asking teachers about communication problems.

Although enabling CCS Google inboxes may open up challenges, creating a standard for communication among teachers and students as well as separating students’ personal emails from school-related activities would be beneficial to both students and teachers.  

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