Monthly Archives: June 2011

Importance of Education

Understanding the importance of education is vital for both parents and students to encourage students to continue to stay in school and decrease the number of high school drop outs each year. There are also many statistics that show the average high school graduate and the college graduate are likely to make incrementally more money per year based on their level of education. While monetary facts do bode well for the importance of education, there are other valuable aspects of a student successfully making their way through school. Students that drop out of school prior to graduation are also more likely to be responsible for financial and social costs to the community and state in which they live. This is because some of those individuals that drop out of school are more likely to get pregnant out of wedlock or get into trouble with the law, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. About seven thousand high school students drop out each school day. The importance of education needs to take on a new direction to help decrease this number.

Because of the dire financial situation throughout the United States, the country can no longer absorb the costs and losses associated with the number of high school drops outs each year. This is why more and more efforts are being taken by the state and federal school systems to help encourage the number of students to stay in school through various efforts to get students educated by placing this heavy importance of education into the hand of each student and teacher. The true importance of education comes into play when high school students that do graduate face what they are going to do with their future. Which decision will they make? Fortunately more and more young adults are choosing to go to some form of college after high school whether it be a trade school or university. There are many educational opportunities for adults of all ages. By cashing in on the importance of education, young adults have a better chance at a brighter future because they will be able to make more money in the long run. While this is not the case for everyone, it does increase the likelihood of success for each student or individual.

Because of decreased spending in public schools and universities, the federal government is having to work on both a federal level as well as with the states individually to make for a change in the school system. Weighing heavily on the importance of education, lawmakers and school administrators are working together to come up with new ways to handle making education better for students while working with less money. The No Child Left Behind Act is currently undergoing major renovations to better help the students in the public school system. The idea is to revamp those requirements and instead help students truly get a a good education to take to college or post-high school educational opportunity. To learn more about the importance of education, be sure to check out the educationbug.org website to learn more about school, educational opportunities and much more.

Sources: whitehouse.gov, all4ed.org

Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education offers resources for teachers, students, and parents. This article includes a summary of what Google Apps Education Edition has to offer, what each Google Education App is, and what they can do to assist you in your education journey.

Google Apps, such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, may be familiar from your business dealings or from “everyday life” getting in touch with friends and family. But did you know that there is a Google Apps Education Edition, which includes all these apps, plus Google Sites, which allows for the creation of a classroom website?
Here’s a summary of the educational version of Google Apps:

  • Gmail offers faculty, staff, and students each an email account with 2 GB of storage. It’s designed so the chat function can be disabled if student IMing is not desired in these accounts.
  • Google Talk allows both voice calls and instant messages for collaboration across distances.
  • Google Calendar helps with making sure students have access to the schedule of school events and a good way to schedule after-school meetings that won’t conflict with sports practice, music lessons, study groups, or other activities.
  • Google Docs allows students and teachers to create collaborative documents in real time within a browser window and to store documents in a place that is accessible to everyone in a group.
  • Google Sites—which can include other docs, photos, a Google Calendar, and attachments—can help students keep up with homework, celebrate the class’s accomplishments, and keep everyone on the same page with upcoming events. It can also be used to build project websites. It includes 100 GB of storage
  • Google Video for Education is an image hosting and sharing service for digital video and provides 10 GB of storage.

Google (fortunately) sets different privacy standards for Apps for Education (and it’s actually too bad that they don’t apply the same standards for all users of Google products). Nevertheless, you should read them yourself. You can find them here: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/privacy.html
Google also does not charge for these services and does not post ads of any kind on them. Schools currently using Google Apps for Education include Brown University, Northwestern University, Trinity College Dublin, the Edmonton Public Schools in Alberta, Canada, etc.
Other important information that could help you decide about using Google Apps for Education:

  • Google promises a minimum of 99.9% uptime.
  • K-12 schools and institutions of higher education must be accredited to qualify for a free Google Apps for Education account.
  • Non-profits (501(c)(3) organizations with fewer than 3000 users are eligible for Google Apps for Education. Larger non-profits get a discounted price.
  • Google Message Security is available for free to K-12 schools and districts, but only for a limited time. More information is available here: https://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=151966
  • It takes about 6 weeks to implement a deployment of Google Apps.
  • It is possible to migrate email from existing accounts to Google Apps.
  • It is possible to use an existing school authentication system with Google Apps.
  • In addition to online answers, phone support and priority email support are both offered for Google Apps for Education users, but phone support is limited to certain issues.

Sources
https://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139019
http://www.google.com/educators/p_apps.html