Thursday, January 28, 2010

GoogleApps in Education - Prince George's County Public Schools



A few days ago, I shared a new survey trying to garner information regarding the use of GoogleApps for Education in large school districts. You can see the results so far, as well as contribute the information for your school district. I have to ask, how come Google itself hasn't captured this information and shared it? Or, is it enough to make the tools to accomplish the data collection available to its users sufficient?

Schools that responded include:

  • Mankato Public Schools, where the venerable Doug Johnson presides
  • Edna ISD
  • RoundRock ISD

Of that search, I have to admit that the "motherlode" discovered was one Jeff Keitner brought to my attention--Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland, USA. It's pretty amazing all the hard work they did to make the transition from MS Exchange to GoogleApps for staff (note update below). It's also an excellent blend of leadership and management to make the transition!

More importantly, the transition of such a large district--the 18th largest in the United States with 129,000 students, over 28,000 staff--puts to rest any concerns that GoogleApps for Education will NOT work for large districts in Texas. To be honest, by comparison, I think Prince George's County Public Schools can hold their own with the largest in Texas, don't you think?






Here's a general appeal to school districts....

As such, I urge school districts in Texas to consider switching to GoogleApps for Education, a free service available to schools and being seized upon to help defray the high costs. Every time this suggestion is made, the question comes up, where is there a comparatively sized district using GoogleApps for Education?

While I have found many that have adopted GoogleApps for Education, this particular one is beyond belief...and it makes me question why district leaders haven't moved yet to a solution that will save them money, time and effort once implemented...money that can be diverted to enhance technology in classrooms and bandwidth needs rather than on servers and expensive licensing.

The 18th largest district in the United States with over 40,000 computers, 129,500 students, 209 schools, 28,000 employees--Prince George's County Public Schools in the State of Maryland--is using GoogleDocs for Education. Their district supports iPod Touch as well as Blackberry devices. They use Active Directory and MS Exchange.

They are using GoogleApps for Education.

Cost? FREE.

More about the initiative at http://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/googlized/Home

Check out the attached checklist for the transition to Google! More online at:
http://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/googlized/project-plans

Check out either presentation:
http://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/googlized/asbo-2009---ocean
http://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/googlized/necc-2009

The CIO is Wesley Watts

Simple question: If Prince George's County Public Schools can do it, why can't our school districts in Texas?


Not to mention Wes Fryer's podcast of a presentation they did (Thanks Wes!!):

Podcast309: Google Apps – Implementation and Changing the Way We Do Business (from CoSN09)

posted in edtech, podcasts, workshops |

This podcast is a recording of a session presented by Meghen Ehrich and Sharon Tompson, school technology support staff members from Prince George’s County Public Schools in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. This session was shared on March 10, 2009, at the CoSN 2009 conference in Austin, Texas. The official conference program description for this session was: Prince George’s County Public Schools decided in March 2008 to implement the Google Apps Suite. The panel will share their experiences on how they migrated 28,000 users from Microsoft Exchange to Gmail. Google is integrated into the network and users are provided with single sign-on access. It’s also a ubiquitous tool for staff to access their work from anywhere. In addition, the panel will discuss how they are providing 1000+cell phone users with options, how they are securing the environment, providing tools for e-discovery, and will identify future plans for integrating Google Apps with a LMS to create a low cost anytime, anywhere learning environment for all staff and students.

icon for podpress Podcast309: Google Apps - Implementation and Changing the Way We Do Business (from CoSN09) [51:50m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup |Download (1625)

Show Notes:

  1. PGCPS Has Been Googlized (Google Presentation links for this session)
  2. Prince George’s County Public Schools in Upper Marboro, Maryland
  3. Google Apps for Education
  4. Google for Educators
  5. The Infinite Thinking Machine
  6. Google Teacher Academy
  7. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
  8. The CoSN 2009 Conference

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Isn't it time? Isn't it time we put down the yoke of MS Exchange, and exchanged it for something that is proven to work at less cost?


Update 02/08/2010 via email:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Meghen Ehrich
Date: Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 3:03 PM
Subject: Fwd: did you see this?
To: mguhlin@gmail.com


Miguel

I was just forwarded your blog post about Google Apps in Prince George's County. I am part of the transition team and was one of the presenters in the referenced presentation and podcast. I need to make one correction to your post. You indicated that we migrated staff and students. However, so far only staff have migrated; we are just now beginning the pilot phase for students.

http://www.mguhlin.org/2010/01/googleapps-in-education-prince-george.html

Thank You,
Meghen


Meghen Ehrich
Technology Training Team
Instructional Technology Specialist
Prince George's County Public Schools

6251-A Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
240-264-1761 x2227



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

2 comments:

Henry Thiele said...

Miguel,

We have made the change as well (7,000 students in 3 high schools) and it has been great.

I agree that Google is missing out by not creating a Edu users group. We have started one in the Chicago Area on our own to help each other out. Maybe you need to get a few going in different regions in Texas. Our first meeting had over 50 people from 35 school districts.

Hank

Brian said...

Hi Miguel - I have heard some question the move to Google Apps because you have then invested a lot of time making the change and what if for any number of reasons Google Apps goes away or starts to charge$? What is your take on that concern?
Thanks,
Brian

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Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure