Individual schools migrating to Google Apps are hardly new. SADA has assisted numerous schools, at every level of education, with switching their email and collaboration to Google Apps. What distinguishes this switch is the scope. The Oregon Department of Education will be opening Google Apps for Education to public schools throughout the state.
Although Google and the Oregon Department of Education signed a five-year deal for the program, school participation has not been mandated. Schools in districts throughout the state may participate on a voluntary basis, and discontinue use of Google Apps for Education at any time, for any reason.
The announcement heralds a tremendous and unprecedented step toward integrating technology with the classroom, and providing students, teachers, and parents with a powerful collaboration resource. Students in Oregon elementary, middle, and high schools will be able to work with each other on class projects, in real time, and they will have the ability to collaborate with their teachers and receive valuable input on their work. Students and teachers will also be able to make use of Google Apps create websites, communicate through email and groups, and access their work from any location.
In the wake of funding problems and a worsening financial outlook, the move to Google Apps also promises to save the school district a significant sum of money. “This move is going to save the Department of Education $1.5 million per year,” writes Jaime Casap, the Google Apps Education manager. This level of savings promises to be a tremendous boon to the department’s ailing budget.
Click on the links below to learn more about the Oregon Department of Education, Google Apps for Education program.
- “Oregon Takes a Lesson from Google, Puts Apps in Schools” – article posted on PC Magazine’s website.
- Alis volat propriis: Oregon’s bringing Google Apps to classrooms statewide – An excellent post by Jaime Casap about Oregon’s Google App program from the official Google Blog.