Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Microsoft vs. Google - The Education Edition (Round 2)



Universities used to maintain their own power supply. Google Apps Education Edition wants to take all the trouble of maintaining that power supply off your hands. Schools suffer from costly (both financially and time-wise) IT systems: emails, directory, storage, and databases. Google wants to leverage its own systems on behalf of schools.

Google Education Edition provides:
-Mail, gtalk
-Google Docs: online document, spreadsheet, presentation, creation and sharing
-Google Forms
-Google sites – team website creation with videos, images, gadgets, and documents integration
-Google Video (secure and private video sharing – 10 GB free)
-Google personalized start page
-shared calendars
-free for students, faculty, staff, alumni (with no advertising)
-6.5gf of mail quotas
-at @school.edu
-24x7 support
-access to extensibility APIs integrate with your system


Real time collaboration:
One of the most powerful things that Google provides is real-time sharing and access to documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and sites from anywhere, on any device. Multiple people can collaborate on one document at the same time. “Stop attaching and start sharing.”

Video:
YouTube has surpassed Yahoo as the 2nd most used search engine. Google Video is provided as part of the Education Edition package. The fact that students are turning to video for both knowledge content and creation gives Google a leg up.

Time and financial savings:
Google apps is a free system that allows schools to outsource all their systems: email, directory, storage, servers, and database.

Integration:
Education Edition provides APIs to integrate with your system. They have also newly provided an integration with Outlook using Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Resource Center:
The Resouce Center includes just launched additions and new updates, webinars, and lesson plans (organized by app, subject, and grade level) for K-12. Here is a lesson plan provided on the Impact of Photography.

Google apps is much more focused on a meaningful integration between web and documents, and producing content with other people (shared Docs, calendars, website, video, with real-time collaboration). The Resource Center also exemplifies the open source, collaborative benefits of sharing on Google. A current major issue that Dawson points to with Google Docs are their formatting issues. Right now the apps are not going to produce beautiful, polished, accurately formatted pieces of work. Both Microsoft and Google products provide a cloud-based document storage and sharing system. So with Google being free does it become the automatic winner? Stay tuned for a side by side comparison in round 3.

41 comments:

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