Google Apps for Education
Google Apps for Education is a free suite of tools designed to streamline and enhance the educational experiences of students and instructors. Google Apps for Education includes six core products: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Video; and many others can be added. Colleges and universities around the world have implemented Google Apps for Education into their learning management systems because of its scalability and features that enable learners to work together online, while reducing technology-related costs.
Why do schools like Utah State University, Hofstra University and Aberdeen College in Scotland use the Google Apps for Education suite?
Google Apps for Education Have Many Uses
Once Google Apps for Education is implemented, students and staff are able to sign up for an advertisement-free 25 GB Gmail email account. Students can access their Gmail accounts even after graduation — a convenience that was not always possible on other platforms that colleges had tried. Not only does Gmail create a simple way for students and instructors to keep in touch, it allows the college to maintain contact with its alumni. This makes fundraising and marketing efforts much more straightforward.
Google Talk, the Google Apps for Education chat platform, lets users communicate in real time no matter where students or instructors are located — without having to worry about long distance phone charges or having to add a conference calling feature to their phone service. If a student or instructor is not online at the time another student or instructor wants to chat, Google Talk saves the message so the recipient can read it when he or she opens the application later.
Students report that one of their favorite apps in the Google Apps for Education suite is Google Docs. This app virtually eliminates worries about losing papers and class notes even if hard drives crash. Everything is safely stored in the cloud and is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. In addition, this app makes it very easy for students to collaborate on papers and other projects because each team member can access a document and make changes to it even if other team members are not online at the time.
Custom Apps by 3rd party vendors created specifically for the Google Apps for Education Marketplace open up an exciting realm of possibilities for educational companies and services. An example of one of these Apps is called EasyBib Bibliography, a simple bibliography tool that makes citing sources a breeze. Click Here to visit the EasyBib Bibliography Marketplace listing page. Another exciting App for the Google Apps for Education Marketplace is called BrainPOP, a fantastic App that provides interactive videos and quizzes for students as well as comprehensive score tracking and quiz management for teachers. Testing the comprehension skills of students has never been easier. Click Here to visit the BrainPOP Marketplace listing page.
Colleges and universities appreciate the cost savings — sometimes in the millions of dollars — of the Google Apps for Education Suite. The suite's robustness, reliability and security reduce problems for IT teams and allow them to focus on other technology issues, instead of solving problems at the Help Desk! Overall, universities, instructors and students have great things to say about the tools in Google Apps for Education and highly recommend them to others. Students especially appreciate the large email accounts that they can continue to use after graduation, the safety and security of having access to their papers on Google Docs anywhere they have an Internet connection and because the platform is stable and very reliable.
As a closing to this article, here is a video from the Google Apps Marketplace showcasing the Education section of their platform. Take a look!