There’s no question that the growth in Google Apps for Education has made a big impact on the status quo of the education world. In today’s post we take a look at the basics of the platform to help anyone who might be new to the world of Google Apps get up to speed on this powerful collaboration platform. 

What is Google Apps for Education?

Google Apps for Education is a web based application and software as a service (SaaS). It includes many of the same applications contained in your personal Google account, including: Gmail, Docs, Calendar and Sites. The suite of applications allows teachers, administrators and students to work collaboratively while saving their data in the cloud.

What are the benefits of Google Apps for Education?

The big differentiator between Google Apps and a traditional suite of office tools is that Google Apps is hosted in the cloud. This means students, teachers and parents have the power to collaborate on their work like never before. Real time editing of documents and the ability to quickly share your work with any of your co-workers, students or parents with a single click is now a reality.

Does Google own my data, since it’s stored in their cloud?

The data you put into Google Apps belongs to you and no one else. You can read more about data ownership in Google’s detailed resources section

I’m new to Google Apps, is there training available?

There sure is. One of the great things about Google Apps for the education industry, is the amount of online resources, support groups and tutorials available to you. The Google Apps certification program takes things one step further and allows anyone to become certified on the platform. As more schools go Google, this program has grown into a vibrant community of educators and administrators who are re-writing the rules of collaborating in the education space. 

What about the security of my data in Google Apps, how do I know my data is safe?

Without strong security best practices in place Google Apps would fail quickly. So you can rest assured that the Google data centers that house your critical information are designed for 99% uptime. When it comes to preventing hackers from stealing data, Google automatically encrypts your data. This means that your data is secured as it travels between your Internet browser and the data center where Google stores it.