Google Apps for Education: Pros & Cons From An IT Guy

I’ve been recommending schools go Google since 2007. Below is why, with some issues I’ve run into along the way.

Pros:

  1. No more Outlook to Install. Ever.
  2. Web based, works with all browsers, even IE (not IE 6 though but you really should upgrades those. You know who you are)
  3. Real-time doc collaboration. You must see it to believe it.
  4. No more servers to manage. Yay!
  5. So easy to manage you can assign a teacher to manage their school’s email domain. Really.
  6. Integrates with Chromebooks, if you like chromebooks.
  7. Free Anti-SPAM included
  8. Works with MS Office (Yes, teachers can continue to use Office 2003 if they want to)
  9. Google Drive client for Mac and Windows
  10. Great potential for 21st Century Pedagogy in mixed OS BYOD and 1:1 environments.

Cons:

  1. It’s not made by Microsoft.
  2. DirSync and Password Sync with AD take some elbow grease to setup
  3. It’s not MS Office or Outlook. (People eventually notice, even when you tell them you’re upgrading to the “new” outlook web access with office)
  4. So easy to setup and manage even a teacher can do it, and probably already has.
  5. It’s a totally new way of thinking about documents and collaboration that disrupts traditional workflows and forces people to change. (might actually be a pro)
  6. Archiving options are basically Google Vault or Google Vault
  7. Uses Your Bandwidth
  8. No Google Drive for Linux (not a problem unless you run linux)
  9. Updates often, making training more challenging. But then we should all be adaptive Just In Time Learners, right?
  10. Occasionally it breaks for a few minutes and there is nothing you can do but get a coffee while you wait for someone else to fix it.

You can learn more at Google Apps for Education.

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