Google for Education: Why Your School Should Move to Google AppsAssociation of Educators
May 2, 2014 — 1,248 views
Google is focused on the education market like never before. Recently Google for Education signed a partnership deal with Synnex Global, IT procurement specialist, which will make IT deployment easy and affordable for schools. This isn’t the first partnership that Google has developed, with an eye on the education market. Google Drive has linked up with Edmodo – a Learning Management System. This will allow schools to embed any document into courseware with a few simple clicks of a button. Google also developed the ChromeVox, a web-based screen reader. It allows people with print disabilities to access web content without hassles.
Google Apps provides an environment, unlike any, to schools. They can access cloud-based collaboration tools, an excellent multimedia streaming service, a protected chat room and a common e-mail. Let’s take a look at some of the other advantages of moving to Google Apps.
The primary barrier to educational reforms is money. Google Apps provides schools with more effective tools, free of cost, which ultimately leads to a significant amount of savings on an annual basis. The Oregon Department of Education and the Maine Township District 207 are two school systems that have adopted Google Apps and both have reported significant savings, $1.5 million and $160,000 respectively. With Google Apps the cost of maintaining and upgrading IT infrastructure is also minimized.
Improving academic performance
Google Apps enables a more hands-on learning experience, which has a direct impact on academic performance. School systems that have adopted Google Apps have found an immediate improvement in the students’ reading ability. Research has demonstrated that use of technology in classrooms improves student interests. Students are more engaged with the curriculum that utilizes technology, which results in a better understanding of the subject and better grades.
Preparing students for real-world digital communication
Google Apps and other similar bouquets of applications aren’t restricted to just the education space. Any student would be using similar applications in the real-world as well. If schools adopt Google Apps and students are exposed to them at an early age, they will be better prepared for digital communication in the real-world. Students will learn to create e-portfolios, video resumes, work on spreadsheets, and more. Kids are in any case more tech-savvy than any other age group. These days they learn to use a smartphone or a tablet at an age when earlier generations just knew how to ride a cycle.
Early exposure to technology prepares them for the competitive world outside and to use technology responsibly.