May, 2013

Google apps for education

On more than one occasion I’ve talked to teachers who have argued that it’s best not to complicate things and use equally free Gmail accounts. But even if it takes a little more management work, it’s much better to have your own Google apps. The list is long, but the main advantages are:

  • If you have your own domain, such as institutional name. es, you can configure the DNS so that the emails of all teachers and students are of the type nomalumne@nombreinstituto.es. Setting this up is quite simple and too specific to dedicate an article to it, but if anyone has any doubts I’ll be at your disposal.
  • All students can have access.
  • If a student forgets the password as an administrator, we can restore it in a moment.
  • We are offered the possibility of creating groups: therefore we will be able to send e-mails to a class, to a teaching team…
    Google drive allows you to share documents with the groups we have created. It is therefore very quick to share a document with a class or teaching staff. Sharing with groups has its difficulties, however, because it is not very intuitive. But that will be the reason for another article.
  • If your center has Moodle, you can connect Moodle and Google app fairly easily, and students will only have one user to access both sites. When you log into Moodle, you’ll be redirected to Google ID. Therefore less users and passwords to remember from memory. This will also be the subject of another article later on.
  • As we can be asking for a problem-free increase in users (at least at the moment Google doesn’t put inconveniences), when the students leave the school we can keep the mail to them. So they still have access to all the digital material they’ve created while they were at the institute and we have an easy way to connect with them.
  • Students have a lot of services (Google+, Google Drive, Gmail, Sites…) but always under the supervision of the faculty, who can at any time change the password of an account and log in if a student misuses it.

Therefore, all the centers that have not yet ordered Google apps for Applications, whether they are centers with or without 1×1 digital projects, have paper or digital books, think about asking for it, unless Google starts charging.