Google Apps, Right Side Up

I offered our first Google Apps training to faculty and staff members yesterday. I was really pleased with the questions from our workshop participants:

  • How do students keep attention on their own writing while others are editing?
  • When should we use Moodle, Google, or Word?
  • What does it mean to be in the cloud?
  • How can I invite others to edit a survey?
  • When should I use the Outlook or Google calendar?
  • How can I subscribe to the Catlin Gabel calendar in Google Apps?
  • Could students use Docs for lab reports?
  • How can I edit our daily bulletin from home?
  • What security and privacy issues exist?

We are launching Google Apps primarily as a collaboration platform, not necessarily a replacement for our Office productivity suite and Moodle course management system. It will be the obvious choice when people want to work on a project together and a less obvious choice for online file storage, personal calendaring, and class websites. I have tried to keep the focus on learning and operations management rather than the tool itself, and so far the approach is working.

One comment

  1. I like Google Apps and we’re working on our roll out now (not Gmail or calendars, but most of the rest), but their service delivery model is still a bit odd to me. If we were to make it a core component for students and teachers, I wonder if we wouldn’t need a third party caching system for the mail and files for “in case” situations. The recent articles about accounts being shut down because of username issues in Google+ is a little disturbing (if all the services and data disappear for the accounts).