The University of Auckland will be rolling out Google Apps Education Edition to its 50,000 students, staff and alumni. The University of Auckland joins the University of Waikato as an early adopter of Web-based applications in New Zealand.
Google Apps Education Edition is a suite of Web-based applications that includes Gmail email services, Google Docs online documents, spreadsheets and presentations, Google Calendar shared calendaring, Google Talk instant messaging, Google Sites website creator and the Google Start Page feature for creating a customisable home page on a specific domain. With Google's search technology built in, Google Apps enables students to easily sort through and find their emails and documents.
Students, staff and alumni at the University of Auckland will be able to access these applications on any computer with an internet connection, as well as share information and collaborate on work with classmates, colleagues and lecturers.
"Across the globe, we're seeing schools and universities moving towards a new generation of online services to enhance and enrich the educational environment," Richard Suhr, Google's Head of Enterprise for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia said. "With Google Apps Education Edition, students enjoy the same products and online experience they are familiar with at home in their school environment. We're delighted today to have the University of Auckland join a growing list of schools worldwide that use Google Apps for Education."
Moving to Google Apps provides a "win-win" for students and the University of Auckland alike, said IT Services Director, Stephen Whiteside. "It provides a better service to students as well as a more user-friendly student email address that they can keep when they graduate. It is also cheaper for the University while releasing storage capacity currently used for students for other university use."
Earlier this year Waikato University became the first New Zealand Tertiary Institution to successfully implement Google Apps Education Edition for its 25,000 students.
This shift to Google Apps and online services by New Zealand Universities is part of a trend of schools and businesses embracing "cloud computing" - a move to web-based applications that allows for greater collaboration and access to information. By freeing up IT resources, cloud computing empowers schools to focus on education, rather than IT administration.
Google makes Google Apps Education Edition available for free to all schools and universities.