Editor’s Note: Igure Temitope Arinola is a 4th year student of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin. She’s an ardent enthusiast for technology, enjoys photography, reading, and writing. She shares her experience and states the perks of Apps for Education by Google.
Being a student can, pardon me, ‘is’ really tiresome especially in these parts of the World. Let’s narrow it down to my Institution. With the advent of ‘cloud’ and ‘open source’ there are lots of free course ware and materials for interested scholars. Notes, lectures, tutorial time, and documents (especially ‘.pdf’s are essential to learning. All these are sometimes very hard to manage as they’ll be scattered or misplaced in transit.
A short while ago, Google came up with an outreach program on Campus; this gave birth to Google Student Ambassadorship program. These students as well as affiliated organizers are selected for specific purposes, which is to train users (co-students and lecturers) about Google products and Apps, such as Documents, Calendar, Mail, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Forms, Groups, and Sites. In the advent of Google Apps for Education, Google Apps supporting program was already on ground and in a lot of universities in the sub-Sahara Africa, to ensure Google Apps are well utilized in these Universities.
How Does This Work?
Google provides connectivity (assistance with connectivity ranging from internet bandwidth to campus infrastructure grants), technical consulting & training, campus visits and technical workshops provided by Google Engineers or affiliated organizers at no charge whatsoever. Google Apps deployment and training: Let us help with your Google Apps deployment, configuration and training. Google will send our own Apps Deployment Specialist or sponsor a certified third-party to come on-campus and work through the deployment with you.
How to use Google Apps training: Google will provide train-the-trainer type training to select University staff or students, who can in turn train the rest of the university community on the various Apps modules (mail, calendar, docs, spreadsheets, presentation, forms, groups, sites). A few of them include University of Nsukka, Benson Idahosa University, University of Benin, Covenant University, University of Lagos, and a host of others in Nigeria.
Google apps for education is targeted at enabling schools communicate and collaborate within the entire community for free. Google manages all the technology details and allows you focus your energy, time & budgets on teaching. Tutors and students can effectively share ideas & get things done more quickly as they have access to the same useful communication tools. Here are some benefits of the platform.
The Google App User Experience
Going by recent information I garnered from a few like minds based on our experiences, I’d say the following about Google Apps for education:
In an academic environment, the apps most common among users are Google mail, Google search (assignments & data gathering), Google+ (to keep in touch with friends, family and technological trends), Blogger (share stories, articles), Google talk (instant messaging between colleagues) and Google sync.