Schools learning to love Google Apps, Microsoft Live@edu

State systems, universities enrolling in cloud-based office suites

While state, local and federal agencies step gingerly into the cloud, schools districts and colleges are jumping in with both feet.

Earlier this month, New York state signed on with Google’s Apps for Education, making the cloud-based suite available to its 3.1 million students and hundreds of thousands of teachers, writes Audrey Watters at ReadWriteCloud. 

New York followed Colorado, Iowa, Maryland and Oregon in making Gmail, Google Docs and other apps available to students across those respective states. Google says it now has 10 million users of the suite, which is designed for students from kindergarten through college, writes ReadWriteWeb’s Frederic Lardinois.

Microsoft, meanwhile, also is drawing students into its own cloud, announcing this month that San Francisco State University, Cal State-Long Beach, the University of Montana, and Washington University in St. Louis had joined the roster of schools using the company’s Live@edu cloud suite, Watters writes.

Government agencies that have been wary of the cloud often have cited security concerns. And although students writing a paper about the Stamp Act or collaborating on a science project might not have the same worries about protecting sensitive information, there is always reason to be cautious online.

Google details its security controls for Apps for Education in this white paper. Microsoft addresses security in its Live@edu FAQ (question 33).

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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