Friday, April 20, 2012

Alternatives to Google Apps for Education

I have been pushing my school districts for the past few years to adopt Google Apps for Education as an alternative (not a replacement) to Microsoft Office. It is also a great way to give students space to store and share documents online. The Gmail package, calendar, and Google Sites are also impressive. Finally, around the holidays, our Sparta Area Schools was set up to use Google Apps for Education. I was pumped. My freshman classes were studying careers, so I set up a project utilizing Google Apps with career exploration. Here is what I found. Google Apps is not very good and my students hated it. There was a huge uproar as students begged to use their Office products. Be careful for what you ask for I guess.

However, this raised a question in my mind. I had heard so much about Google Apps for Education and districts adopting it and using it all over the nation. But, was there something out there in the cloud that was better? That has been my quest lately. To find alternatives to Google Apps for Education. I don't know that I can find the total package the Google offers of Email, calendar, productivity tools, Website builder, Forms, etc. But, I feel that I can find alternatives to some of these tools that are easy to use and offer more robust features.

Check back in the coming weeks to see what I can find. Thanks!