For years, Microsoft 365 for Education has been the go-to platform for schools, and it’s easy to see why – Microsoft is familiar, easy to use and the applications on offer are great. But, until recently, that has begun to change. It’s now Google who have started to make waves amongst the education sector, offering Google Classroom free of charge and purse friendly Chromebooks, it’s easy to see why over half of primary and secondary schools across the pond have adopted Google for Education apps such as Gmail and Slides, and over half of mobile devices shipped out to schools are Chromebooks.
Google’s surge in popularity isn’t just limited to the States, it’s starting to gain popularity over in the UK too, we’ve worked alongside The Streetly Academy who saw a huge difference after we supplied them with Chromebooks. But what is it about Google for Education that schools are finding so appealing? We find out:
What is Google for Education?
Google for Education is a service designed to enhance collaboration between students and staff through a series of cloud-based tools which are used for common educational activities such as distributing digital documents and aiding communication.
Tools such as Drive, Docs, Gmail and Calendar enable educators to participate in class discussions, create virtual lessons and track document changes plus so much more.
But what aspects of Google for Education might make you school ‘Go Google’?
As part of GSuite for Education, Google Classroom is a web service offered by Google, designed to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments. Google Classroom combines Google Drive for assignment creation and distribution, Docs, Sheets and Slides for writing and Gmail for communication, as well as Calendar for organised scheduling.
Using Google Classroom, educators can create virtual ‘classrooms’ with pupils where they can provide students with real time feedback on assignments as well as set deadlines, students are also able to interact with educators within Google Classroom as it acts as a sort of ‘Dropbox’, where students can submit their assignments directly rather than the alternative of printing and physically handing in their work, saving both time and paper, and leaving educators more time to focus on the more important tasks at hand during lesson time rather than collecting in assignments.
Chromebooks for Education
Chromebooks aren’t exclusively for education, they’re widely available for both children and adults alike and are versatile enough to suit a wide range of needs. In terms of education, they’re perfect for both students and staff, with schools around the UK struggling to make ends meet, the budget friendly Chromebook seems ever more appealing, but that’s not the only thing it has going for it.
With a winning combination of fast boot up times, lengthy battery life and ease of use, the efficiency of Chromebooks can save time in the classroom and really make a difference to the academic achievement of students, as Streetly Academy found out.
Another major and probably most important quality of the Chromebook is its security features. Running on Google’s Chrome OS and with most documents and applications living in the cloud, Google have put a large focus on preventing cyber-attacks on Chromebooks by providing multiple layers of protection.
Because of the large focus on security, Google have managed to avoid major cyber-attack campaigns such as ransomware. But that’s not to say Chromebooks are 100% immune to attacks, if you choose to invest in a Chromebook, it’s worth beefing up your security with regular antivirus scans and other safe security practices to keep your device secure.
Accessible for all
Even if you know your way around a Windows device or you’re a MacOS expert through and through, the Chrome operating system coupled with Gsuite apps is easy for anyone to get their head around, from logging in, turning in assignments and getting involved with the online class discussion, Chrome is simple to navigate and what’s more, Google Classroom can be accessed from any device, meaning students don’t need a Chromebook themselves to access announcements and manage their work, they simply need access to the internet on their computer, tablet or mobile.
Better still, GSuite for Education, which includes Google Classroom amongst other tools, is free, which gives Google that extra edge over the competition.
It’s not just schools that have implemented GSuite, HP and PWC are amongst those who use it as the advantages are becoming more and more apparent. From encouraging teamwork to the affordability of Chromebooks, Google for Education is very much here to stay, and worth looking into if your school’s looking for a versatile platform that can be accessed from a whole host of devices.
To find out more about Google for Education, you can take a look at their website, where you can learn more about Google for Education.