Google Apps is a no-cost suite of software which can
- save money,
- free up staff time,
- introduce students to cutting edge technology, and
- improve collaboration among students or staff.
Google Apps normally requires a contract, but the DPI invested time to resolve potential contract issues at the state level so that any public, PK-12 educational institution can use Google Apps via a simple consent form.
Additionally, Wisconsin’s cooperative educational service agencies (CESAs) are providing trainings, both on technical implementation of Google Apps and on using the tools for student learning.
Among the many potential uses of Google Apps are email, collaboration on documents, closed-loop video sharing, private blogs where students share their work and reflect on their learning, voicemail management, and geographic exploration. Because the applications are housed on Google's servers, districts can reduce maintenance by using them to replace existing solutions.
The benefits of Google Apps to a few Wisconsin school districts are reported in the DPI announcement of the agreement.
Helpful Links and Materials
Wisconsin Google Apps resource site, put together by Wisconsin CESAs to support the state's education agencies as they transition to Google Apps for Education.
Contacts at each CESA for Google Apps questions.
Consent form. Schools and other public education institutions submit this form to Google in order to use Google Apps under the statewide agreement.
Professional Development on Google Apps through Wisconsin CESAs.
Agreement between Google and the State of Wisconsin.
DPI Announcement of the agreement.