Friday, April 01, 2011

Intro to Google Apps for Education

As we have clients in the education market, this morning we have taken time out to find out a bit more about “Google Apps for Education”, which offer free (and advert free) set of customisable tools to enable faculty, staff and students to work together more effectively. More than 10 million students use Google Apps.

A quick scan of the news and official posts from Google shows that this is really taking off.

The 3 key benefits are listed as:
Communication – Enhance your community's dialogue with hosted email, shared calendars and integrated video chat.
Collaboration – Google Docs and Google Sites enable students and teachers to share documents online, at any time and from any location.
Customization – Easily integrate your existing IT systems with Google Apps while keeping your school's domain safe and secure.

On quick review it appears to have mainly taken off in USA; however, we did read a blog from a former UK header teacher who had become a certified “Google Apps for Education trainer” via The Google Teacher Academy and set up her own business to push technology innovation in the education field. So it is happening here people. We also found this statement from Leeds University, there are further case studies on the Google Apps for Education website:

Leeds Metropolitan University Higher Education "We had Microsoft Exchange but we found that it wasn't being used by students. They preferred Hotmail or Google Mail. We're trying to be very contemporary and that includes our IT strategy. We believe in working together with organisations that complement us and can add value. That was a big part of moving to Google."
Barbara Colledge, Dean of Partnerships.

The Google Teacher Academy (mentioned above) is “a FREE professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies”. There are several videos on YouTube on Google Apps for Education, here is a video from the Google Apps Education team: If you go to YouTube and search Google Apps for education and you will find several videos from Head Teachers.

To give further insight, into potential growth of the 'The Google Teacher Academy' and 'Google Apps for Education', we found a great post , published just yesterday from titled “Power of social learning can help students, teachers”; which reported that: “A massive, six-year study was completed in 2009 by Project Tomorrow (, which involved the “largest collection of authentic, unfiltered” stakeholder participation in any known similar study, with the involvement of 1.85 million K-12 students in more than 23,000 schools and including 26,312 parents and 38,642 teachers”.

They also noted that: “The study report revealed three “essential elements” for effective, 21st-century education:

• socially-based learning helps students process and personalize their learning,
• un-tethered learning allows students to not have to rely solely on teachers for information, and • digitally-rich learning enables students to access and process material in a variety of ways, as well as driving productivity”.

Read more about:
Above mentioned post: “Power of social learning can help students, teachersGoogle Teacher Acadmey Google Apps for Education

We have recommended Google Docs, which form part of the Education Apps, previously on this blog; read our post on Google Docs just got better.
Also, don’t forget that “We grow our own” at Rocktime, if you have ideas to increase your productivity with an intranet system or application, then talk to us about it, so we can discuss the development further call Rocktime Sales Team, or visit our Intranet / Extranet page for more information.

Author: Sarah Griffiths


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