NYC education department set to give kids and parents eMail addresses

New York City public school kids and their parents soon could be getting their own free eMail accounts from the city’s education department, reports the New York Daily News. The city hopes the eMail accounts, which could be available this fall, will make it easier for principals and teachers to keep in contact with families. "This is simply another parent engagement tool," said spokeswoman Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes. "It’s about building school communities." Creating a citywide system also will help level the playing field, because some schools are already providing school-based eMail accounts on their own, she added. The city expects to get the accounts at no cost. In return, the provider can blast the city’s 800,000-plus public school parents with advertising. Parents can block the ads, and all student accounts will be ad-free, Gonzalez Fuentes said. The system, though, won’t solve the broader issue of whether families have access to the internet. If schools are increasingly relying on eMail, it could leave some parents out, said Cornelia Brunner, of the Center for Children and Technology in New York. "You don’t want to increase the gap between the information haves and have-nots," she said…

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