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Here’s How Google G Suite for Education Acts as a Potent Teacher’s Aide for K-12

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For those educators who require better, more technically-integrated ways to boost their productivity on computer networks, Google has unveiled a great new tool. Google G Suite for Education – formerly called Google Apps for Education – has caused quite a (positive) stir within the education community, and understandably so. Like Microsoft’s Office 365, Google offers G Suite at no charge to the education community.

And, if you own an Android smartphone, there’s a good chance you’re already using Google to manage your calendar and contact list.

Let’s take a closer look at this versatile educator’s aide, shall we?

What Exactly is G Suite for Education?

Google is currently offering schools a hosted solution for their email, calendar, and chat through G Suite for Education, an integrated communication and collaboration solution. Additionally, you can complement the core suite to meet your users’ needs, with access to several more Google services.

The core G Suite for Education suite is described in detail on the Google Education products page.

How Much Is It?

Google G Suite for Education is free. Google plans to keep the core offering of G Suite for Education free. This offering includes user accounts for future incoming students. As you may know, Google was founded by a research project at Stanford University, and this is just one way we can give back to the educational community.

To see the available features included in G Suite for Education, visit the G Suite for Education homepage.

Who Qualifies for It?

To qualify for G Suite for Education, we require that organizations meet the following criteria:

K–12 or higher nonprofit educational institution, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body

Who Else Can Sign Up for It?

If you are a church school or a research lab associated with an accredited school, you qualify for G Suite for Education. The easiest way is to sign up under a school’s domain.

Who Doesn’t Qualify for It?

  • Student, alumni, or parent groups
  • Religious organizations
  • Home schools
  • Government bodies

More on Google G Suite for Education

Setup and management is simple and these cloud-based tools scale easily across classrooms. The products are also easy for teachers and students to learn and require little professional development.

Google G Suite for Education is free for schools, including 24/7 support. Best-in-class security is also included at no additional cost (though CCS can help in that department where needed).

Work anywhere, anytime, and on any device with G Suite for Education. The tools encourage collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, and let teachers work one-on-one or with the whole class.

Educators can provide instant feedback and track a student’s progress to improve performance. Tools like Google Classroom also help free up educator time so they can focus on what they do best: teaching.

What is the uptime for G Suite services?

With G Suite for Education, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, and Google Sites are guaranteed to be available at least 99.9% of the time, ensuring that users have access when they need it. The G Suite team is committed to providing your school with the best level of service. For more information, please see the G Suite Service Level Agreement.

How much storage do users get with G Suite for Education?

Each user has unlimited storage for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. (If you have 4 or fewer users in your organization, each user gets 1 TB of storage.)

What’s the difference between Google G Suite for Education and G Suite Basic?

G Suite Business comes with an array of audit and reporting features as well as Drive administration capabilities. G Suite Basic still has some great features, though different.

Some of the key benefits of using G Suite Business editions (including those for Education) include:

  • Mobile device management
  • Unlimited number of users
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Option to disable ads in Gmail
  • Sufficient document, email and image storage per user
  • 9% guaranteed uptime, and more.

G Suite Basic

By opting for G Suite Basic, you take advantage of shared calendars, video meetings through Google Hangouts, cloud-based storage, online documents, email and much more. The productivity suite provides a wide variety of functionality that includes:

  • Ability to share calendars with team members, which improves event scheduling
  • Use custom email address
  • Attend video meetings anywhere using any device (administrators can invite participants using a short link or phone number)
  • Store and backup files securely in the cloud
  • Collaborate in real-time on spreadsheets, online documents, and presentations.

CCS offers Education IT Services that help schools across Colorado understand how to best utilize tools like Google G Suite for Education. Call us now at (719) 439-0599 to learn more.

Are Non-Profit Organizations Eligible for Google G Suite for Education?

Yes! Non-profit organizations can get G Suite after applying for G Suite for Nonprofits on the Google for Nonprofits website.

What Are Google Educator Groups?

Google Educator Groups (GEGs) are communities of educators who learn, share, and inspire each other to meet the needs of their students through technology solutions, both in the classroom and beyond.

More Facts About Google G Suite for Education

Google’s move from Google Apps for Education to G Suite for Education is much more than a simple rebranding: many new features will be rolled out as a result of the transition.

Change is not always welcome in the world of education. The reason is understandable: You don’t always have time to break from planning and grading to adapt to new tools and workflows.

For the most part, the changes with G Suite won’t require you to learn anything new. Rather, Google has made changes so that the platform adapts to the way you already work.

Searching for Files

Google is taking the technology of its search engine and applying it to its Drive storage. Over the past couple of decades, Google Search has been optimized to conform to the way people think to make it as easy as possible to find what you want.

Quick Access to Drive leverages machine learning to reduce approximately 50% of the time it takes to find the files you want. When you want to access a file, Google will analyze past behavior and workflow to predict which files you’re trying to find.

Additionally, Google is implementing Natural Language Processing (NLP) and spelling corrections to the Drive search field. To simplify, this means searching for files in Drive will be more user-friendly.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows you to search the way you speak, and when you mistype your search query, Google will provide recommended changes to ensure that you find the file you want.

Improved File Management

File management will be improved for administrators, educators, and students. Google is taking measures to deduplicate files. This enhancement means that when you download a file from Drive and work on it in a separate application on your device, reuploading it to your Google Drive will not result in a duplicate file. In short, Drive is now more intelligent, which should mean less work for the end user. The ability to view and retrieve deleted files also will be made available.

Researching with Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Research has been made simpler than ever before. While you’re working in Docs, Sheets or Slides, Google will provide suggestions for research based on the content of your project, and offer suggestions for research sources and material automatically.

Scheduling Meetings and Events

Google is also rolling out smart scheduling for Calendars. A new “file a time” feature will provide suggested meeting times and rooms based on the availability of you and your invitees. The tedious back-and-forth process of discerning when everyone will be free can hopefully be a thing of the past.

There are some additional features, which are described in detail in the documents linked above, but for the most part, these changes will be painless and require little to no extra knowledge on the part of users with varying levels of access.

(Sources: Gaggle.net, Edu.Google.com, k12irc.org)

We’re Committed to Education IT Services in Colorado

Schools today need a solid foundation of information technology, not only to keep their own operations running smoothly but also to help students learn technology systems as they prepare for the future.

We meet the unique needs schools have when it comes to IT, such as:

  • Student management software support and consulting;
  • Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite for education deployments;
  • Mobile computing with Google Chromebooks and iPads;
  • Online portals for faculty, students, and parents;
  • Testing and evaluation software;
  • Security and compliance with CIPA, and more.

Greater Success with Google G Suite for Education Can Be Yours

Colorado Computer Support lives up to our name, and will make sure you receive customized educational IT solutions from a time-tested and client-focused computer support company in Colorado.

Just call us at (719) 439-0599 to learn more about our Education IT services, or contact us online, and we’ll get you started with all the support for Google G Suite for Education you’ll ever need!

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