Google applications are becoming popular day by day. On Tuesday , at a gathering of education leaders and decision makers at the Google campus in Mountain View California, five new universities announced they are launching Google Apps Education Edition on their campuses. University of North Carolina Greensboro, Clemson University, University of Texas San Antonio, Kennesaw State University and Arkansas State University will all implement Google’s suite of Web-based applications that includes Gmail accounts for students on their university domain. Google also announced that ads for faculty members using Gmail through Google Apps Education Edition are now optional (just as they are for students).
With Google Apps, students get Google’s best of breed consumer technologies that is constantly improved through user feedback. And because these technologies are based on the Web, students have access to school-related information no matter what device they’re on. To help schools learn more about this option, Google invited education leaders and IT professionals to hear from other universities that have made the switch to Google Apps Education Edition. The event, called Google@School, kicks off an effort by Google to work closely with schools and provide them a first-hand look at Google Apps Education Edition.
“Google has always had a close relationship with higher education,” said Jeff Huber, vice president of engineering at Google. “Google Apps Education Edition is a groundbreaking option for universities, and we want to work closely with them to implement smart use of technology for education.”
Representatives from the universities announcing their decision to launch Google Apps were on-hand at the event to discuss with other participants why they are making the switch:
“By working with Google, we are able to bring students the popular products they already know and enjoy using in their personal life to their academic life,” said Todd Sutton, UNC Greensboro assistant vice chancellor “Creating a supportive environment for students and faculty to communicate only improves the education experience.”
Jim Bottum, vice president and chief information officer at Clemson University added, “Google Apps Education Edition allows us to provide our students useful tools to be successful in their academic career and beyond. Also, because of the amount of email storage Google provides, students will be able to take their Clemson email address with them for life and won’t lose all of their contacts and information the day they graduate.”
Schools all around the world are moving to Google Apps, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Trinity College in Dublin, Nihon University in Tokyo, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara. When universities sign-up for Google Apps, students, faculty and staff get Gmail powered email, IM capabilities with their contacts, and an online calendar that allows them to add classes and meetings right from the Gmail interface.
Google Apps Education Edition is a free service and includes the Google Docs & Spreadsheets program, Gmail email services, Google Calendar shared calendaring, Google Talk instant messaging and the Google Start Page feature for creating a customizable home page on a specific domain.