Sunday, 8 November 2009

Using Google Apps in Education

Well, it's been a long time since I last posted. There are two reasons for that.

The main one is that for the first half of the new year, as well as taking on Head of ICT at school in addition to being Head of Media Studies, I've been covering for a colleague who was sick for 6 weeks. So, I found myself running a House. In the British independent school system the House system is a way of splitting students up into smaller units, of around 40 students. The Houses compete against each other, share in daily life, and provide a pastoral backbone to academic life.

However, I haven't been idle and currently we're trialling Google Apps for Education. You can find out more about it here. Basically, this offers a suite of email and cloud-based applications, that provide powerful learning and collaborative platforms. At present we have a selection of teachers and students experimenting with it. Our main VLE is Moodle, but I think that based on early results Google Apps could make it onto our list of recommended tools.

Incidentally, my mobile phone contract expires next February, and I'm increasingly drawn to replacing my Samsung Omnia with one of the new phones running Android, Google's mobile operating system.

In the bigger scheme of things I wonder how long it'll be before the European Union takes Google to court for being a monopoly? Certainly, Google have been canny at making it very easy to upload and export data in a range of popular formats, and most services are free, so it could be an interesting showdown, should it ever happen.


Haliburton said...

The use of Google Apps in education has interested me for a while, unfortunately, my school management hasn't even seen fit to have an ICT coordinator :/ Please let us know how the trial goes. Currently, we are trying to implement EDU20 throughout the school, but it's very early days yet.

Don said...

Taken on a house in addition to... I knew you were going to be busy, but now I laugh to think how busy you really are. I'm glad that you're spending yourself in a good way. Stay healthy!

Sacha van Straten said...

Hi Don,

Lovely to hear from you. I saw on Laura Jayne's blog yesterday that she's had to suspend activities for a while. What a shame.

I forgot to add that in addition to everything else I was also trying to write a 6,000 word end of module essay for my MA!

Good times.



Sacha van Straten said...

Hi Haliburton,

It's a shame you haven't got the necessary management buy-in to use ICT to improve learning.

If we can help, or you want to come over to Berkhamsted to see what we're doing, you'd be very welcome.