At the NJ Google Apps for Education Summit this month, we had the opportunity to briefly present and discuss the role and impact of Google Apps in K-12 Education with administrators and leaders from several districts. This post is the 5th of 5 on Leadership and Google Apps in Your District.
Google Apps is (also) for Business
Not surprisingly, schools looking at Google Apps for Education, Chromebooks, and Tablets with Play for Education focus intently on classroom computing. In doing so, however, schools and districts often overlook that Google Apps works well for business … for administrative computing. Some districts even elect to keep a separate email server for administrators while using Google Apps in the classroom. By size and scope, many school districts are comparable to the small and mid-size businesses we serve. They also have many of the same needs, such as budgeting, human resources, team projects, and resource scheduling, just to name a few.
By adopting Google Apps as a business tool, district and school administrators can improve efficiency and effectiveness. Here a just a few ideas of how administrators can use Google Apps:
- Collaborative budget process with automatic roll-up from departments and/or facilities
- File storage and sharing across departments and buildings
- Individual, team, and project calendars
- Intranet for HR with policies, procedures, and forms
- Resource calendars to schedule use of conference rooms, speciality rooms, AV equipment, fields, vehicles, etc.
- Public calendars for school and student events
- Public web site with distributed content management
- Video meetings, with screen/document, sharing for teams that span buildings or campuses
- Survey and feedback forms
- Interactive Wiki’s for proposing and obtaining feedback on curriculum changes
- Accept and manage maintenance and facilities requests by email and/or web page, with shared inbox and dispatch for handling requests
- Lesson planning library and collaborative, cross-team, lesson planning
While certainly not a comprehensive list, using Google Apps administratively offers many means to work more efficiently. And, by adopting Google Apps for administrative computing, districts can further reduce their dependence and spending on servers, desktops, and other hardware.