Wednesday, October 28, 2009

GoogleDocs/NetBooks/Moodle

MassCue Session 1 – 10:00-10:55
GoogleDocs/NetBooks/Moodle
Lee McCanne, Director of IT and School Libraries, Weston

The cloud follows and supports students and teachers.

Google docs link - presentation ppt

Google Enterprise Account – protected, free
Lots of ways to go – picked one and went for it.

• Anytime anywhere access 24/7 – Google, free.
• Collaboration tools for students – multiple users
• Moodle – a place where teachers can build, manage, pace curriculum. Free. Provides academic sequencing of content. 24/7 access.
• Differentiates instruction – a course site allows richer content for those ready and more support structures for those who need it.
• Can re-brand Googledocs and Moodle.

Weston Teacher Web – professional learning Moodle for staff. Intranet for Weston. Can’t be published to the world, secure online environment for staff and student collaborations.

Google Apps – docs, spreadsheet, forms, presentation, calendars (iCal compliant, layer multiple calendars)and file storage (10gig video storage). Weston has not picked up Gmail. Goal was 24/7 access and collaboration. Run it as a secure intranet.

Google apps in Weston Schools grades 4-12 and all staff.
• Hired SADA Systems (California)– auto account sync process with their Active Directory and Single Sign-On (SSO).
o This uses LDAP for authentication.
o Accounts synched every night, reduces management. Not free.
o Authentication bounces to Weston server – need stable Internet connection to maintain authentication access.
o Single sign-on keeps things simple for staff and students.
o $15,000 set up / $3,000 per year to maintain. Don’t need backup, virus, management costs for all these accounts.
o Don’t need Microsoft Office licenses.
o Big cost savings off set initial costs.

Review of Google docs to see what platform looks like. Organized, searchable – Weston is very pleased with the interface.
• Can’t upload specialized file types (ex. Inspiration)
• Sharing capabilities is the important thing and where real power of app lies
• Limited by lack of email – can’t form groups. But if you need to give wider access you can publish the doc and send the link, but is available to the world. “Share” is not crawled by Google. Can set edit/collaboration levels. Safe and secure collaborative process inside and outside organization.

Sites – can create websites for organization. View of Weston HS site.
• Sites is a global function. Any student can create their own website. It is an intranet so it is not visible to the world. There is an invitation function so there is some control. Sites can be a closed community or open, depending on who is invited or sent “share”.
o Can invite parents to class site as a way to share student work and give access. Site is for classroom community, and not the world. Allays privacy fears.
o Can allocate site ownership to share management access/responsibility.
o Super easy to create a site.
o Students can create sites – so what? Get out of their way and let them. Potential problems are learning opportunities. Good citizenship lessons.
o Bandwidth – must build infrastructure to support this. Only an issue in school, not when kids are at home.

Student Landing Page
Template with embeddable Google docs and widgets. No instance on kids playing with widgets. Personalized homepage.
Look and feel of site can be developed using templates and personalized. All fonts/banners/etc posted and available for use as people develop their own landing page.

Site management > done through mail tab > manage this domain. As director of tech some concern over level of control, but good ability to control/ turn things on and off.

Domain mapping to create logical scheme and develop brand.

Publishing – can’t publish websites to world, but can invite via share.

Limitations
Pros – free, easy to use, easy to manage, nearly unlimited storage (number of files), size limit on file size, can run intranet with it, collaboration tools powerful.
• Students can create own internal website
• Can synch for students who do not have home access

Cons – 3rd party management tools some cost, applications not as rich or have fancy bells and whistles – do we really needs these?
• Students can create own internal website

Moodle – made for education
• Free, aside from cost of server.
• Tied to Active Directory same as Google docs.
• Zero account management

Implementation
Create video tutorials for basic access info.
Google also has support materials to facilitate people getting online. Lots of nice basic support structures to help roll out an implementation.
Weston used Woopid to create their video tutorials.

Netbooks
Weston has netbook carts running windows, but goal is to move towards the cloud for apps. Some licensing costs, but moving there.

Concord should do this.

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