Having spent the last few months becoming a Google Certified Trainer, I now think I've got a fairly good idea of what it can and cannot do. Google Apps for Education offers a set of tools that can be used from any internet enabled device. It is the same set of tools that any individual can sign up for, but Apps for Education provides a level of control and monitoring and will be free of advertisements.
Most people are familiar with GMail, but few are aware of the other great tools. Google Docs enables any user to create online documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and drawings. What makes these things different is the ability to work simultaneously on a single file at the same time. The opportunities for collaborative working are endless!
Google Sites allows users to create their own website within a few minutes without any need for specialist technical knowledge.
Google Calendar is already being used by many schools. The ability to display and share any number of calendars to different audiences has already become an invaluable tool.
Whether you already have a learning platform, or you are thinking about using Google Apps on its own, the tools are quick and easy to understand and use.
In Norfolk we have rolled out over 132,000 Google Apps for Education Accounts through our 'nsix' (Norfolk Schools Internet Exchange) domain. All staff and students within schools who receive county broadband provision already have access to these tools.
The Advisory Services will be offering courses during the next academic year to support schools wanting to make the most of these tools, focusing on learning and teaching.