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Friday, November 6, 2009

Six million students use Google Apps Education Edition

As universities and colleges seek to find ways to cut costs, many are turning to Google for their free e-mail services. Google recently reported that as of September, “over five million students at thousands of schools in more than 145 countries” were using its suite of communication and collaboration applications known as Google Apps Education Edition. According to a posting on the Google blog, this number has increased 400% since the fall of 2008. Google recently launched a new website to show the schools how the products work which now shows that another million students have signed on for a current total of six million students.

An article from the Minneapolis – St. Paul Star Tribune discusses the transition to the Google services and the concern it has caused for many college administrators. Administrators are worried about how well sensitive information will be protected by an outside company but Google promises that the information is secure. According to Jaime Casap, a business development manager for Google Apps Education, “When somebody sends an e-mail out, it’s broke up into a gazillion pieces and spread across a bunch of different servers. Their data is absolutely secure.” Jerry Sanders, chief information officer at Macalester College pointed out that when there is a server room on campus “there’s an illusion of control. But there are so many ways through any given system. The question became, who can really protect this better: Google, with its army of engineers? Or us calling our guys in the middle of the night to hurry down?”

1 comment:

Edublend said...

The Cloud gives control to people on their documents/work etc, it makes them publishers/authors/broadcasters etc. A spin of sharing and collaborative working added to the mix and we have what I call as the Cloud Learning environment. Here the control is shared between the learner and the facilitator or the academics .
This is new, as the old institutional VLE (or virtual learning environments, kept most of the control with the institutions or the academics) and the PLEs (personal learning environments) did not quite provide a cohesive platform to bring different people together form different walks of life uniformly.
To read more about a CLE, see http://edublend.blogspot.com/2009/12/cloud-learning-environment-what-it-is.html

An Example of that is my Exam revision site that taps into the students informal learning experience/practice. I blogged about it here
And the resources is an Open access resource that can be accessed here: