Last Thursday evening I participated in my first Google WebeX Seminar on Google Apps for Education. I can’t remember where I saw the event advertised (probably Twitter?) but it was free and interesting to attend.
The on-line seminar was mainly presented by Katie Rose from the University of Notre Dame and also features Miriam Schneider from the Google Apps Education Team.
Unfortunately, during the seminar I couldn’t hear the sound and as I was outside of the UK it was difficult to dial into the presentation. However, I was able to follow the chat conversation and read the presentation slides. The session was also recorded and has now been up-loaded to YouTube and I’ve just spent the last hour listening to the presentation in the background.
I have embedded the presentation video (You Tube) and the question and answer session that followed below:
A got a lot from the presentation but I found the following points particularly interesting:
- The marketing of Apps was really important in the success of the roll out
- Google Apps was rolled out to 15,000 students and 150,000 alumni
- Students studying chemical engineering to create ePortfolios using Google Sites
- The university saved $1.5million by migrating to Google Apps for education
- Google Apps for education is free for education institutes
- Student satisfaction has gone up by 36%
- Calls to the IT helpdesk has gone down by 20%
- Individual student storage went up from 100mb to 7GB (per user)
- Students were particularly pleased to a ‘suite of Apps that worked together’.
- The Google Apps Bus was sent to the campus to provide extra training for the students.
- The evaluation team that looked different solutions noted that Google Apps was particularly versatile on the a variety of mobile platforms and also cross OS (PC and Mac)
Recently East Lothian Council migrated its student email service over to Gmail and from this week all of the students in its secondary schools will have Gmail Accounts. East Lothian has also been making extensive use of Google Apps for education in other areas for a number of months now. This included the use of Google Sites for the Guitar Hero 2009 Transition Project and Google Docs to gather and compile evidence for the recent local authority inspection report.
As part of their roll out strategy to make more use of Google Apps for collaboration all of the newly qualified teachers in East Lothian were shown and had an opportunity to use Google Apps as part of their ICT induction last Thursday.
For further ideas and example of how students like to use Google Doc and Google Apps in the classroom have a read of this nice little article over on the Google Student Blog.
I would be interested to hear from any other education authorities in the UK making good use of Google Apps for education at school level?