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Monday, June 28, 2010

Staten Island Technical High School goes Google

After many months of planning and scheduling, the day is finally upon me. I am happy to say that I have finally and officially convinced my school to travel down the long and winding road toward Google-hood. I have not previously blogged about my goals, so let me tell you a story. It went as most things in public schools go. I mentioned the idea to an assistant principal. He said it was cool and all, but he was busy, so let's wait. Three months later, we're finally making progress. And another month or two later (which brings us to today), the process is finally in full motion.


The reason I advocated Google Apps for my school is not because of the massive amount of money we would be saving over other similar solutions, but because we have never had anything like this before. Despite being a technical school, students do not have school email addresses, teachers rarely post grades online, and the entire system is on paper and disorganized. Quite sad, actually. My goal was to finally give Tech a push in the right direction, and that push has been administered. Next year, the new system will be tested in a few specific classes (mostly Advanced Placement classes) willing to adopt such a new and novel technology. The main roadblock ahead of us is to convince the less technology-aware teachers to adopt, which will likely be our biggest challenge.

Anyway, I hate to cut this post short but I have no time to waste. If you have a school that either lacks an internal productivity infrastructure or has some very expensive one, I recommend you go Google. Just looking at the Apps Dashboard, it is probably the simplest interface I have ever seen, and new applications install just like they do on Facebook. It gives you the ability to do so much more and in such an organized fashion. Hopefully the road ahead of my school is bright, because we have a long way to go.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds very interesting! Only you would you go out of your way to
    Googl-ize our school haha
    Could you elaborate more on how exactly this would work and what this is?
    Is this just another form of naviance or edline..? :

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  2. Hey Sunny! Google Apps is a company infrastructure intended to improve collaboration and communication between colleagues and coworkers, or in this case, teachers and students. If you have used Google's online applications before, this will be very familiar. It is essentially taking Google-hosted services, such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites, and so on, and running them under our own domain. This would give students school email addresses, give teachers the ability to create class websites, let clubs create websites and mailing lists, let teachers put homework and assignments on shared calendars, and much more.

    Everything is being phased out very slowly, so for now only AP Physics C, AP Chemistry, and CAD students will be using the services, and in some cases the class will only use some of the possible services that are given to students. Hopefully in the future it will be distributed school-wide, but that will be long after I graduate.

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