Why should your school district use Google Apps for Education? This packet will explain why a school district would want to use Google Apps for Education.
Google Apps for Education is a full collaborative suite of applications that includes Gmail, Google docs, Google Groups, Google Video, Google Calendar, and Google Sites. Additionally, this suite is offered for free and it is hosted on Google’s servers.
Google groups allows teachers and students to be able to have a forum where they can connect and share knowledge. “Users can share docs, calendars, sites, shared folders and videos with a group instead of individuals, while admins can keep control of group membership. Robust APIs even allow for integration with LMS, SIS, and course management systems, so access permissions stay up-to-date.” (Google, 2012) Google groups will be the online community for technology support amongst the district staff. They can share lesson plans, interesting websites, and assignments. The possibilities are endless for what such a site could do for a budget strapped education institution. This application is offered free for educational institutions.
Backing up files is imperative and often problematic when budgets are low for servers or external hard drives. Google offers a solution called Google Docs. Google docs allows users to not only back up their files to a Google server, but to edit these documents with their web based application. They can also share their files and work on them simultaneously with other users. “Google Docs lets users be productive at school, at home, and even on their mobile phones. Because Google Docs runs in a web browser, students can work from almost any family computer without having to purchase new software.” (Google, 2012)
One of the biggest sources of viruses in the school system is from spam in email. Usually the viruses are downloaded unknowingly by the user because the spam filter being used isn’t sufficient. Gmail’s spam filter is extremely powerful, not to mention, free. ”Gmail for education offers 25 GB of storage per user, powerful spam filtering, integrated voice/video conferencing, and a 99.9% uptime SLA. All hosted by Google – there's no cost, and no ads for students, faculty or staff.” (Google, 2011)
Watershed School talks about Google Apps for Education