Tuesday, April 12, 1:00pm EDT.
Google Apps is a collection of web-based programs and file storage that run in a web browser. The applications include communication tools (Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar), productivity tools (Google Docs: text files, spreadsheets, and presentations), a customizable start page (iGoogle), and Google Sites (to develop web pages). Google stores all of the files and content centrally and keeps a record of the different versions of a file. With Google Apps, sharing content is as simple as granting someone access, which facilitates collaboration, peer review of academic materials, and the collective generation of knowledge.
The decision to move Boise State University employees to Google Apps for Education was initially proposed within Boise State's Office of Information Technology in 2008. We saw an opportunity to extract ourselves from the business of administering an e-mail system, allowing us to focus on other projects and activities and provide a higher value to our institution. Not only was this the opportunity to advance from an e-mail system to a collaboration platform; the move enabled us to more closely align our IT organization with Boise State University's strategic plan.