ETT21 #146: Richard Kassissieh on Google Docs Implementation
January 19, 2011
Richard joined us to discuss his schools move to Google Apps for Education.
12:33:40 vvrotny : Welcome all
12:35:00 matt montagne : yes indeed...richard shares good stuff on his blog
12:35:08 arvind : hey folks, welcome!
12:35:13 arvind : getting the stream fired up
12:35:59 matt montagne : i would agree w/that, Richard...heavy, heavy focus on content and curriculum in the private school world.
12:36:11 matt montagne : little focus on pedagogy/form
12:36:59 vvrotny : I love the TPACK model
12:37:28 vvrotny : http://www.tpack.org/tpck/index.php?title=Main_Page
12:38:15 matt montagne : TPACK is a solid model, vinnie. It acknowledges that technology, conent, and pedagogy are all important in effective teaching, which has always been the case I suppose.
12:39:43 matt montagne : a few others to consider...Zoho and MSoft Live EDU...
12:39:46 arvind : Is Google Apps ready for schools that don't want to be on the cutting edge?
12:39:56 vvrotny : YouTube is not included in the apps work
12:40:03 matt montagne : Here is another question...is Google Apps 'cutting edge?'
12:40:21 jrichardson30 : Stream up or is it just me that can't get it?
12:40:49 matt montagne : when you consider that users have been using private/personal web based email accounts for years now, Google really doesn't seem that cutting edge.
12:41:17 arvind : Richard's post about Google accounts: http://www.kassblog.com/2010/12/google-account-conflicts/
12:41:27 arvind : JRicardson: try ustream on the right
12:42:11 matt montagne : I guess google apps is cutting edge when you consider that many school email systems quota users at 100 mb or less even (that was the case with our firstclass system that we dumped in favor of gapps).
12:42:45 matt montagne : users still could use outlook with google apps...we have some users who use a client like outlook
12:44:16 matt montagne : one way to start with google apps that doesn't require much effort is to simply turn on docs...make it available for kids and teachers to use at their choice and discretion.
12:44:20 jrichardson30 : Ugh, finally ustream widget loaded.
12:44:49 matt montagne : that model creates organic use...kids gravitate toward collaborative writing spaces for things like movie scripts, collaborative presentations, data collection in forms, etc.
12:45:43 jrichardson30 : was wondering you use it with elem grades
12:46:38 arvind : We started with Docs (then Spreadsheets) and then added Calendars. Has been organic, but as a result, strategic
12:46:42 fred : hi all
12:46:45 arvind : not strategic, i meant
12:46:49 arvind : hi fred
12:47:35 arvind : http://typewith.me is great site to collaborate without needing any setups
12:47:45 matt montagne : it also is quite nice for students to be a few clicks away from creating websites for class projects and so forth...
12:48:21 matt montagne : portfolio assessment becomes possible with the various google apps as well...
12:48:47 matt montagne : also, we now can do lifetime email for our alums...our class of 2010 still uses their email on an almost daily basis!!!
12:48:57 arvind : I think docs is the killer app in Google Apps platform, but the rest seems user-focused, and not organization-focused
12:49:58 matt montagne : contact sharing across the apps is the feature that makes it worthwhile
12:50:07 matt montagne : no
12:50:17 fred : anyone concerned about putting too many eggs in the google basket?
12:50:26 matt montagne : users having acess to blogger, youtube, etc really is only useful for authentication
12:51:22 matt montagne : fred, even though we use google apps, we still have tons of other non-google tools being used...pages, office, open office, voicethread, imovie, moviemaker, etc.
12:51:55 fred : matt, same approach here
12:52:03 william stites : The right tool for the right job/problem
12:52:19 matt montagne : google apps useful for group/team productivity...office client apps useful for individual productivity
12:52:48 matt montagne : but that is changing too...
12:52:53 william stites : Difference w/Moodle, Wordpress & to some degree Office is that you own the platform
12:53:06 matt montagne : cloud apps are starting to work like client apps...and client apps are starting to work like cloud apps
12:53:09 william stites : Google docs is very appealing, but you don't own it
12:53:20 jrichardson30 : challenging, but skills learned jumping between apps/tools is very valuable in our world
12:53:22 matt montagne : why do you mean by that, william??
12:53:47 kassissieh : I don't think we own MS Office any more than we own Google Apps.
12:54:08 william stites : Single Sign On can help merging tools
12:54:11 matt montagne : I think your point is really important to acknowledge, Richard.
12:54:14 william stites : SIS, Moodle, Google Apps
12:54:19 arvind : And Google changes the rules whenever they want to. That's the ownership difference. My Moodle server is mine and won't change until I change it
12:54:26 jrichardson30 : Share point....ugh!
12:54:42 jrichardson30 : We have that as well, but just not user friendly
12:54:50 arvind : @wstites we are using SSo as much as possible to help with username/password explosion. We're down to 2 for all platforms that we have
12:55:04 matt montagne : true, Arvind...but because their user base is so massive, they are motivated to not tick them off. As a result, most of their decisiions have been common sense.
12:55:09 jrichardson30 : SP has gotten better, but it's still cumbersome and nothing seems to be as easy google stuff
12:55:17 fred : Watched 'The Social Network' yesterday and it made me think again about information that Google/Twitter/Facebook etc. are collecting about us.
12:55:47 arvind : @matt really? Changing OS experiences on a random day is how they have to roll. They can't pretrain people. We would never do that with any technology we dployed
12:56:19 arvind : Google Apps to me is the best idea every, deployed fairly averagely
12:56:33 arvind : best idea ever, rather
12:56:42 matt montagne : @arvind...in our two years of using it, I can't think of a change they've made, large or small, that has hacked us off
12:56:49 william stites : SSO is like the Holy Grail...
12:57:07 kassissieh : We don't plan to sync passwords -- not comfortable with pushing passwords from our network to the cloud, even if encrypted. Thoughts?
12:57:13 arvind : Having Google mail, docs, sites, Picasa, blogger is a pretty incredible toolkit for schools
12:57:38 matt montagne : that has been our thinking as well, Richard...we don't sync passwords.
12:57:40 arvind : @kassissieh Google is maniacal about passwords - they don't sync, they push people back to you to log in. About as safe as it can get
12:57:45 kassissieh : Vinnie, can you view/search all of the videos for one's domain?
12:57:47 william stites : @kassissieh - You don't need to push passwords, there are different methods to prove you are who you are without passwords
12:58:19 kassissieh : Arvind, can you point me to documentation for that? We only found documentation for running a sync tool on one's domain that pushes usernames and passwords to Apps.
12:58:20 william stites : Actually went to a good workshop at FinalSiteU on SSO and how it works
12:58:39 william stites : @kassissieh - I'll see if I have my notes on it
12:59:23 vvrotny : @richard - if when you upload them, you can have it public within the domain. Or you can share only by link.
12:59:40 matt montagne : its a connundrum to be certain, Arvind...the pros and cons are many
13:00:03 matt montagne : what I really like about the platform is how it allows us to be agnostic to hardware and even software
13:00:27 william stites : @kassissieh - Just sent you the notes.
13:00:33 vvrotny : Great article by Doug Johnson - 2010, The Year of the Cloud - http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2010/12/31/2010-the-...
13:00:49 matt montagne : blackberries, iPhone, windows, mac, linux...google services don't care.
13:03:20 william stites : Question I have is how many tools are enough
13:03:22 vvrotny : equal access, platform independent, device independent
13:03:48 jrichardson30 : we are wiki based on our collaboration, but the simultaneous editing is a stubbling block for sure!
13:03:51 william stites : if you invest time in Moodle (or some other tool) how many others do you bring on
13:04:15 william stites : I think that you can actually "plug-in" to Moodle
13:04:19 william stites : to use something else
13:04:26 william stites : remember seeing that a while ago
13:04:30 william stites : didn't do it myself
13:05:12 kassissieh : Bill, we have run Moodle here for five years, so it's pretty much part of the fabric of the place now. Is that what you mean?
13:05:13 matt montagne : there is a SSO connection to google apps from moodle william...but then your bottleneck becomes moodle. And Google's uptime will be better than moodle's
13:05:20 jrichardson30 : How do you go about migrating users from AD into google apps? Is it really complicated?
13:05:33 matt montagne : it isn't easy, jrich...but can be done.
13:06:43 matt montagne : Office = powerful desktop publishing Google Docs = powerful group collaboration. Both work in tandem as companion tools.
13:06:47 arvind : jrichardson: we pay Ping Identity 20cents/user/month to have them synchrnoize google apps to our active directory. Works pretty well
13:07:01 matt montagne : arvind, does that synchronize groups??
13:07:21 matt montagne : I agree...the money argument doesn't hold much weight.
13:07:40 jrichardson30 : arvind, good to know, thanks
13:08:24 matt montagne : that is slick in moodle 2.0...users can push content out of moodle into google apps, flickr, mahara, etc
13:09:47 matt montagne : true...Moodle is becoming agnostic by providing easier ways to push content out of their system.
13:10:55 jrichardson30 : We are so short-staffed in the tech coaching dept that if we did launch this, I don't know how we would get everyone on-board...
13:10:55 william stites : Is there a question/issue with those that already have Google accounts vs the new Apps for Ed account?
13:11:22 matt montagne : your users can't work in the same browser with personal accounts and domain accts.
13:11:49 jrichardson30 : Arvind, Matt-Did you see a steep learning curve when implementing google apps with your faculty/students? Or was it pretty painless?
13:11:52 johnpal : You can use same browser now; google has multi-account login now.
13:12:03 matt montagne : actually, that last statement I made isn't entirely true, but it is a recommendation we make to our users.
13:12:19 william stites : This is where I wanted to bring someone in to help manage any transition we might want...
13:12:19 arvind : jrichardson
13:12:20 arvind : :
13:12:28 matt montagne : that's right, john...but it only works for some of their services....its a bit confusing.
13:12:29 arvind : the learning curve is around how to use it well
13:12:42 matt montagne : we had 77 users affected out of 575
13:12:56 fred : thanks all... lots of good information
13:13:03 jrichardson30 : that's what I mean, looking at it from a tech coach's perspective
13:14:40 william stites : these are a lot of the issue that have come up with the apps for ed that has made me cautious as they are time consuming
13:15:13 matt montagne : One of the reasons that we in tech at our site really like the system is in how it empowers people--no longer do they need to come to us to create collaborative work spaces.
13:15:27 william stites : you almost need a inventory of file ownership fo rkey documents
13:15:37 matt montagne : sunsetting accounts in a logical way has always been difficult, no doubt.
13:15:38 kassissieh : http://kassblog.com/2010/12/google-account-conflicts
13:16:04 matt montagne : great conversation...great 'cast...thanks a bunch!
13:16:21 william stites : thx Richard!
13:16:23 arvind : thanks for being here, everyone!
13:16:39 jrichardson30 : thanks!
13:16:46 jrichardson30 : learned some good stuff