Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Google Classes for Educators

English: This is Juniper Hall at Humboldt Stat...
Juniper Hall at HSU. (Wikipedia)
Even though most of what I work with here on this blog is open education resources, I often post what is happening at Google because the college I work for, Humboldt State University, made the wise choice of outsourcing their email to Google. There are so many reasons why this is such a good idea for small to medium-sized universities: reduce cost of servers and infrastructure; Google is better at redundant digital back-ups and storage and data security than we are; they include many software programs that run in the cloud that we could not afford to buy, develop, or maintain - the list goes on. Many of the students are already using Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sites and Hangouts, etc. On top of that, Google  also offer free training for instructors.

They are offering five new, free self-paced courses to introduce teachers to Google Apps: Internet 101, Google Apps for Education Overview, Gmail for Educators, Google Drive for Educators, Chrome and Chromebooks for Education:

Learn how Google apps and other web tools can help you meet your teaching and learning goals. Your educator peers have created a set of self-paced online courses to help you learn when it's convenient for you. Review videos, toolkits, and reflection questions to build your skills and confidence in using the right technology to meet students' needs for today and the future.

My one beef with them is that I would like Google to start paying more attention to ADA 508 compliance issues. In the past they rushed a lot of things out of the chute for education without paying attention to compliance. They seem to be attending to that now but I need to do more research on that.

If you have any opinions or insight on Google accessibility, feel free to post a comment or email me and I will include the info in a later post.
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