Last week, we celebrated a big milestone for Google Apps for Education: 10 million active users. While a lot of the credit belongs to the school IT leaders and teachers who recognized the collaboration and learning potential of services like Google Docs, Google Sites, and school-wide Gmail, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the many partners and integration projects that have helped support Google Apps for Education.
We were lucky enough to have several of these partners join us in our EDUCAUSE booth last week, and share how they’ve helped deploy and connect Apps with many widely-used learning management systems in higher ed. If you weren’t able to make it to these sessions in our conference booth, here’s a recap of how schools can integrate Apps with the technology platforms commonly used by colleges and universities today:
Blackboard + Apps: Northwestern University’s Bboogle project is a free, open-source integration that lets schools integrate Google Apps with Blackboard’s learning management system. This video and case study shows how a history professor at Northwestern used Google Sites to create a collaborative encyclopedia with his students; Bboogle managed authoring permissions for the class and provided links between the Blackboard course site and Google Sites.
Sakai + Apps: rSmart showcased the new Google Apps functionality that’s available in the upcoming 2.7.1 release of their Sakai collaborative learning environment. Sharing a Google Doc in Sakai now lets Sakai handle which users have access – often a volatile course roster as students drop and add classes – without having to manage a separate list of usernames with Google. For a sneak peek, check out this video and case study.
Moodle + Apps: Moodle solutions provider Moodlerooms displayed the single sign-on, automatic user provisioning, and Google Apps widget integration available in joule™. More information is available in this case study, or the related Moodle-Google open-source code.
MyCampus + Apps: The CampusEAI Consortium’s student portal solution includes an out-of-the-box Google Apps integration that’s used by over 50 universities and colleges, allowing students to engage with Google Apps without leaving their portal environment. A case study is available here.
We also owe a hat tip to the leading Google Enterprise Partners who joined us at EDUCAUSE, like Appirio, who shared their plan for training faculty and staff at Brown University, LTech, whose ‘Power Panel’ app allows limited administrators (ideal for university helpdesk staff), and SADA Systems, who explained the opt-in, on-demand content migration solution they developed for Kent State.
We’re impressed with how these partners have used our open APIs (plus App Engine and the Apps Marketplace) to make Apps even more useful to schools, and we look forward to sharing even more success stories in the future!