1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Google Apps VS Microsoft's Live@Edu ?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Richard_Finnigan, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. We are considering options for a new e-mail setup and it seems logical to tie this in with a Cloud Computing implementation for the school offering pupils and staff access to online office applications and other goodies and features.
    Both Google and Microsoft are offering very attractive free packages to schools so I'd welcome any comments about the ease or difficulty involved in setting up these solutions.
    Also if you are a school that uses one of these two packages have the cloud computing features really made any significant difference to the school's administration and teaching and learning ? or to put it simply are the new features appreciated ?
    I'm particularly interested in staff pupils collaborating when they are working on documents and also the range of online applications that google docs offers.
    Also Microsoft's Sky drive is a big plus point for that package as is it's similarity to Office 2007/10.
    Richard Finnigan
    Head of ICT
    St John's School
  2. While Cloud Computing can offer some advantages, you're reliant on your service provider (who is not tied into a contract), and this is a risky position to put yourself in (IMO). We're using SOGo, a free, open-source, locally installed email server. It's free in terms of cost of software, though of course not free in terms of setup and internal support. We do, however, own the hardware and control all of the data ourselves.

    That said, I do like Google Docs and use it a lot. Students have been using it in and out of lessons, but we haven't got the whole school signed up. Good luck whichever way you jump.
  3. Started using Google Apps about three-four years ago in my own teaching and have since rolled it out to the whole school. Like all things, there were some enthusiastic early adopters and there are still some staff that will always hate using a keyboard. It's use is now firmly established across the school though and has permeated a diverse range of routine working practices. It enables non ict savvy staff to contribute changing content to our websites, all homework assignments to be available for parents and pupils to view and giving and receiving work from excluded or sick pupils to be done with ease. It's not without it's problems, but we could not envisage going back. My personal experience of the online Microsoft products is limited, but I have tried them and much prefer the Google offering.

    Marking writing on screen is a pain, but the ability to inspect the version history, to leave comments in situ, to avoid the need for printing out or handing in has been a real boon for extended pieces of written work.

    I personally use the forms feature for written examinations, some of the marking can then be automated by the spreadsheet where the work is destined.

    Aside from the usual office products the Apps market place offers a range of extra applications. Some are prohibitively expensive for my purposes but many are free. Take a look at Aviary for music clip editing and really wacky graphics editing.

    Google now allows any file type to be uploaded and stored, so file storage is not an issue.

    I've probably missed quite a few of the good points and glossed over some of the irritations, but I'd say give Google Apps a go - it's well worth the effort.
  4. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    @HH - any issues with spam using SOGo?

  5. We run Spamassassin on our mail server which seems to take care of the vast majority of the stuff.
  6. Not sure what we use but we pasted a spam-catching address all over the place before we went live to configure the filter. Seems to work pretty well.
  7. I'm not an ICT specialist but was interested to use google docs with my students and found how great this tool can be in doing collaborative work and used for the first time this term. What are your thoughts on the future of on line assessments? Do you think it has become more easier for pupils to achieve qualifications?

Share This Page