FirstClass Migration Plan – Shay_Smith

I had the very interesting opportunity to respond to the hypothetical question “How hard would it be to move from FirstClass to [a hosted Google mail solution]?” The answer was a simple “much easier that you think” and a simple search through the myriad of Google help pages revealed this meta-page by Shay_Smith that details the process itself and also links to others with the same experience.

This site is a hosted by Google Sites for the David Douglas School District in Oregon and contains lots of great information about Google Apps for Education. There is even a contact link for Shay Smith that I think I will use to ask some follow up questions in the very near future!

FirstClass Migration Plan – Shay_Smith

Google Apps Education Training Center

Now this is interesting! The good people at Google offer Google Apps Education training so that one become a qualified Google Apps Education trainer. There are two amazing things about this:

  1. There are free, online tutorials for the the tests. This means that anyone can learn about Google Apps right now. Getting awkward questions from those who “just don’t get it” (JDGI)? Send them to these tutorials to get their most basic questions answered by the Google pros!
  2. There is an established baseline for “getting” Google Apps. This means that early adopters and high-end users can quickly and easily establish their status as those who do get it and who are prepared to share that information on with others. 

Google Apps Education is a terrific service and I suspect that we will be blogging about it more in the future…and writing it into our vision statement in some way, too!

Google Apps Education Training Center

Google Apps for Education: Qualification!

This is just a short post to announce that I received my Google Apps Education IQ (Individual Qualification) at the end of our April Break. 

36 Interesting Ways to Use Moodle in the Classroom – "Google Docs"

This is sooo meta! Tom Barrett has created a Google Docs presentation about Moodle and opened it up to all of us for collaborative editing. In the time it has taken me to compose this post the number of great ideas in this presentation has increased to 40 (thanks to Joseph Thibault). Am hoping to add one of my own ideas, too!

36 Interesting Ways to Use Moodle in the Classroom – “Google Docs”

Google Apps for Education: K-12 Schools and Classrooms

I would love to adopt Google’s Apps for K-12 here at our school. Several schools in our ECIS region have taken this bold step and have enjoyed the simplicity and security that Google provides (not to mention the savings). The description on the Google Apps site contains lots of lingo worthy of Buzzword Bingo (“Staying ahead of the learning curve”, “21st Century School”, and everyone’s favorite “Anytime, Anywhere”) but the ideas are solid and forward-thinking.

The difference here is that web-based apps like Google Docs are actually 21st century technology (2005 in the case of Google Docs) versus software standards like Word (1983), Excel (1983) and PowerPoint (1987). I am happy to say that we in MS IT have been using Google Docs almost since the beginning and hope that we are getting ready to move more of our software into the cloud in the future.

Google Apps for Education: K-12 Schools and Classrooms

Using a Chrome notebook


One of the things that I am very curious about is a cloud-based laptop/netbook/tablet. The Google Chrome OS is already under development as a free, open-source operating system (called Chromium, by the way) and now Google is piloting their own hardware which will come preloaded with Chrome. It will be released in the States with 100MB FREE 3G data from Verizon every month for two years (with optional increases available for those who need it, of course).
This video clip shows how quickly the Chrome OS boots/sleeps/wakes and nicely makes the point that living in the cloud make that the device itself irrelevant.