(Cross-posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog)

Editor's note: Our guest blog post today comes from James Donkin, General Manager Ocado Technology at Ocado, the only dedicated online supermarket in the UK and the world’s largest online grocery retailer

Ocado is the world's largest online-only grocery retailer, reaching over 70% of British households, shipping over 150,000 orders a week or 1.1M items a day.

Ocado doesn’t operate out of physical stores. Instead, our customers place their orders online via our webshop and mobile applications. These orders are then picked and packed in huge automated Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs), the largest of their kind in the world. They are then delivered to customers’ kitchens in one hour delivery slots by our own delivery fleet.

Technology is at the core of almost everything Ocado does. We consider ourselves a technology company that also does retail. Our culture and make-up is much closer to that of Google than it is a bricks and mortar retailer. We started shipping orders in 2002 and over the past 12 years we have been engaged in a continual process of rapid innovation. Our solution is as unique as our business model and the fact that we own almost every line of source code in this solution means we can evolve it, optimise it and exploit it.

We have a unique business model that is considered highly disruptive within the retail sector, due in part to the scale of automation that we employ.

From the customer’s perspective it’s all about delivering the highest levels of service, quality and choice at a compelling price that all flow from our level of automation - it’s also about providing a customer experience that is irresistible in terms of its convenience and simplicity.

However under the surface, that simplicity does not come easily and is achieved by a huge level of complexity in terms of the processes, automation, software, algorithms, optimisations and data that make it happen. We rely on Google Cloud Platform to do the heavy lifting on data processing and integration so we can focus on what we do best: getting quality groceries to customers in the quickest time possible.

Six months ago, we were ready to make the shift to the cloud and researched Cloud Platform. We were familiar with Google's offerings since we've used Google Apps since 2010. We wanted to evaluate App Engine so we ran a series of intern development projects on this platform and found that the service is easy to use, offers security features like auditing and integrates nicely with other Cloud Platform products including Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Storage, which increases the productivity and performance of the overall platform. App Engine also scales on demand automatically so that we don’t have to overprovision up front. We can get something live very quickly by just adding a small amount of code and pushing it out, compared to other cloud services where we would have had to build the whole stack from scratch.
We use Compute Engine to run a big data processing pipeline based on Hadoop and process a terabyte of data per week in order to build better experiences for our customers. Compute Engine is flexible, has a great API, works well with App Engine and has high quality, consistent performance, particularly when starting new instances. We’re moving from more traditional relational database technologies to distributed processing, and with Compute Engine, we can try new technologies quickly and be more agile, rather than having to provision and install additional physical machines. We also use Google Cloud Datastore, which scales easily on demand to handle massive amounts of data.

We use Cloud Storage for secure storage of all data we send to and receive from third-parties and partners. It automatically backs up the data and has a good REST API. Meanwhile, we are experimenting with Google Cloud SQL and are finding it makes it easier to port existing applications to the cloud, and supports immediate atomic consistency, an important feature for some solutions. We don’t have anything in production at the moment but are excited about Cloud SQL’s recent general availability.

Cloud Platform is constantly developing and releasing new products and features that allow us to do even more with our data and applications. The data processing features and web analytics capabilities enable us to optimize our site to provide our customers with the best online experience. The ease, integration and scalability that Google offers with Cloud Platform allow us to offer the simplest, fastest and best online grocery shopping around, which is why customers choose to shop with us.


Editor's note: Last year we introduced the Google Maps Engine public data program, which lets organizations easily publish their map content online. Today, we’re expanding on that program and letting organizations improve the discoverability of their maps. To find out more information about the program, read our FAQ.

(Cross-posted on the Google for Nonprofits Blog) 

Governments, nonprofits and businesses have some of the most valuable mapping data in the world, but it’s often locked away and not accessible to the public. With the goal of making this information more readily available to the world, today we’re launching Google Maps Gallery, a new way for organizations to share and publish their maps online via Google Maps Engine.
Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas where anyone can search for and find rich, compelling maps. Maps included in the Gallery can be viewed in Google Earth and are discoverable through major search engines, making it seamless for citizens and stakeholders to access diverse mapping data, such as locations of municipal construction projects, historic city plans, population statistics, deforestation changes and up-to-date emergency evacuation routes. Organizations using Maps Gallery can communicate critical information, build awareness and inform the public at-large.

Google Maps Gallery also offers several key benefits for organizations. With the Gallery, governments, nonprofits and businesses can publish maps and manage their content on their own terms with settings that enable control over maps branding, styling and licensing. Additionally, with the ability to synchronize maps from legacy systems and open data portals to the Gallery, organizations can take advantage of having a complementary online channel for their data. This lets their maps be more accessible and useful for their audiences — all powered by Google’s reliable cloud infrastructure.

Today, Gallery users can browse content from organizations such as National Geographic Society, World Bank Group, United States Geological Survey, Florida Emergency Management and the City of Edmonton — but this is just the beginning. Maps Gallery is now open to organizations with content for the public good. Organizations interested in submitting content can apply to participate in Maps Gallery.

Google Maps Gallery gives organizations better ways to surface maps and make data more discoverable. Together with governments, businesses and nonprofits, we can unlock the world’s geospatial data.


Brazil is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, and the state of São Paulo is the economic powerhouse underneath it all. The future of this continued growth rests in the hands of its youth. The state of São Paulo has more than four million students, 5,000 schools and a community of almost 300,000 teachers and staff.

To equip future generations with the skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce, we are partnering with the Department of Education of the State of São Paulo to provide and deploy Google Apps for Education across the state, for free.

“We are so excited to be bringing Google Apps for Education to more than four million students of São Paulo,” said Geraldo Alckmin, Governor of São Paulo. “Finally, classes will go beyond the four walls of the school.” We are working to deploy Google Apps for Education to all 4 million students within the year.
Milton Burgese, Head of Education, Google Brazil, speaks about the partnership 
The municipality of São Caetano do Sul, a thought leader across the country and known for both quality of education and life, announced this week that they are excited to be going Google at an event hosted in São Caetano. We will be deploying Google Apps for Education in 67 schools there, reaching 19,000 students and 1,500 teachers.

“I'm sure that the learning process of our children and youths will be improved by the support of new technological tools that are being brought to our schools by Google” said Paulo Nunes Pinheiro, Mayor of São Caetano do Sul.

We’ve also partnered with the Escola de Formação de Profesores (EFAP), a professional development facility, to train all of São Paulo's 300,000 teachers on the use of Google Apps for Education. Helping them master the new technology will help them communicate, collaborate and partner even better with their schools and students. As Herman Jacobus Cornelius Voorwald, the São Paulo State Secretary of Education, told us, “If we want to change our country, we must use education… We need to dedicate time to helping teachers learn by showing them different ways to embrace technology.”

We believe in the power of the web to help people discover, connect, and learn. And we’re thrilled to see Sao Paolo and São Caetano do Sul join Malaysia, the City of Boston and a growing number of other forward-thinking districts around the world who are embracing the web and technology to drive a new, better future for our students.


Editor's note: In honor of Valentine’s Day, and in the spirit of Cupid’s arrow, today we hear from a business that’s in the business of weddings. Our guest blogger is Lee Wang, COO of WeddingWire, a wedding technology marketplace that connects couples planning nuptials with wedding professionals. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Our goal at WeddingWire is to make wedding planning fun and simple. We connect engaged couples to event merchants, provide them with consumer reviews, online planning tools, and help them stay organized as they plan their big day. We also help event merchants manage their workflow and their business more efficiently through our SaaS business management tools. Using our suite of productivity tools, event merchants can generate new prospects, book appointments, manage their social media, create engaging content, and send digital contracts. They can even collect payment, all without leaving WeddingWire.

We recognize the importance of making work simple, exciting, and enjoyable for our employees at WeddingWire to help power our success. Google Apps plays a big part in that. We’ve used Google Apps to help run our entire IT infrastructure since 2006, when it was a beta product. We were also in beta, with four co-founders working out of our CEO’s pink living room. Today, our organization has grown from four to more than 320 employees.

As we scale our organization, we are often in need of new ways to help keep our team connected and productive. We have WeddingWire team members working around the world, from Los Angeles to Raleigh to international locations such as Brasov, Romania. We rely on Google Hangouts to ensure that everyone from Los Angeles to Brasov can participate in company-wide meetings. Google Apps makes it easy to switch from a physical meeting to a virtual video meeting since Google Calendar and Google Hangouts are so seamlessly integrated. Whether for daily use or for difficult weather-related situations, our essential business functions can always carry on.
Lee Wang and the executive team
We believe that constant thought sharing and collaboration makes us a smarter company. Google Apps helps us realize that philosophy online. In the office, we have an open seating plan and lots of common areas, so employees are can have more and better conversations. The ability to instantly collaborate with Google Docs in real-time to solicit feedback or edits on an idea, project or article, makes us work better and smarter as a team. When we recently rebranded our flagship website (, we created a master Google Doc where key stakeholders across the entire organization could add their updates and comments. Everyone from website developers and marketers to sales reps and executives could jump in and know the latest status and sentiment at any time.

Google Apps gives our employees a way to work together better from office, at home, or across the world. It gives us the opportunity to be spontaneous and team-oriented, and frees us up to make work more fun, for us and for our customers. When your job is helping people in love plan the biggest – and most exciting – day of their lives and empowering the businesses of those who serve them, you want to do it right.


Cloud applications allow flexibility, scalability and security and enable a work-anywhere environment, but many of our customers still use traditional desktop applications. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) helps bridge the gap between the cloud and a traditional desktop by allowing you to run your traditional software in the cloud and have applications appear on your Chromebook similarly to how they run today. An example might be your Windows based accounting application.

Chromebooks have continued to help more and more customers over the last year. According to NPD, Chromebooks made up 21% of U.S. commercial laptop sales in 2013. Customers prefer the low total cost of ownership, the central web-based management console and the fact that they don't need any additional security or anti-virus software. These are reasons why businesses large and small are adopting Chromebooks.

Today, customers can fully embrace the cloud with Chromebooks using VMware Horizon™ DaaS®. VMware and Google are working together to make the migration of legacy applications even easier, by using the HTML5/Blast experience from Chromebooks. This means you can work with Chromebooks and connect to a Windows experience running VMWare™ Horizon View.

As the countdown to Windows XP end of life continues, deploying Chromebooks and taking advantage of a DaaS environment ensures that security vulnerabilities, application compatibility and migration budgets will be a thing of the past.

VMware Horizon DaaS enables customers to centralize other desktop environments and manage these as a cloud service. Initially available to customers as an on-premise service or by VMWare vCloud Service Provider Partners (VSPPs) offering DaaS in the cloud or within hybrid deployments. Users will be able to access their Windows applications, data and desktops using VMware’s Blast HTML5 technology to their Chromebook.

This technology is available now by bringing together VMware Horizon View 5.3 and Chromebooks as an on-premise service and will be available soon as an application that can be installed from the Chrome Web Store. To find out more follow this link.


Your company has a wealth of collective knowledge and data, but how quickly can employees or customers find the right information? Google Search Appliance (GSA) gives businesses a simple way to search all their content, no matter where it lives or what format it’s in. Today we’re adding new capabilities to GSA with version 7.2, making it even easier to find documents, organize your data and let your team focus on what really matters: getting things done.

Entity management gets easier
GSA 7.0 introduced entity recognition, which helps businesses categorize unstructured content by extracting entities—attributes like date, author and product type—from documents. With GSA 7.2, you get a chance to test and tweak your entities before indexing begins. This helps ensure that the entities you choose and apply will work best for your organization’s needs.

Helping to make search more universal
Companies rely on GSA to make all their files discoverable from a single search box, no matter where they live. It does this with the help of components called connectors, which link GSA to various data sources and index their contents. In GSA 7.2, we’ve made the connector framework more scalable and flexible. Customers and partners can develop and improve custom connectors more easily, helping GSA become a truly universal information hub.

More search, less typing
Relevant results shouldn’t rely on exact queries—especially when you’re dealing with long product names or technical data. Say you’re searching for part number 3728. With GSA 7.2, instead of struggling to remember the exact part number, you can type in “part number 37” plus a wildcard character such as an * to execute the query. With wildcard search, you don’t have to memorize complicated terms to find what you need.

In addition to these features, GSA 7.2 also introduces a redesigned admin console, improved language support and advanced sorting. To upgrade your GSA software, login to the Google Support Portal and download the release beginning at 9:00 am PT today.

To find out more about Google Search Appliance, click here.


Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Yordan Kamburov, IT Director of Blizoo Media and Broadband EAD, the largest digital cable operator in Bulgaria. In this post he discusses why Blizoo brought its 1,500 employees in 35 locations onto Google Apps for Business. See what other organizations that have “gone Google” have to say.

Blizoo Media and Broadband EAD is Bulgaria’s largest cable company, providing high-quality digital television, Internet and telephone service across Bulgaria and Macedonia. The company is growing quickly as broadband Internet usage surges in Bulgaria.

Blizoo was born from the merger of CableTel and Eurocom Cable in late 2009, and since then, we’ve been working hard to bring together 1,500 employees across 35 locations into one cohesive team. We’re known for deploying the most advanced network infrastructure, but, ironically, when it came to our internal communications systems, things weren’t so cutting-edge. Shortly after the merger, we realized each company was using a totally different communications system for email and calendaring – and both of these solutions were hopelessly outdated.

CableTel and Eurocom’s IT teams came together to find a unified communications solution that would move our newly combined company into a new era of collaboration. We wanted one platform for email, calendars, file sharing, video calls and messaging – accessible by all employees – no matter where they were located or what device they were using. During the evaluation process, we considered Google Apps, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and open-source solutions like Zimbra. Google Apps was the only solution that covered all the bases – offering full collaboration, totally in the cloud.

The transition to Google Apps was very smooth. In partnership with our integration partner Solitex, we quickly moved all 1,500 employees to Google - and not one single email was lost in the transition.

All of our departments have found innovative ways to use Google Apps. The HR department uses Drive as their central employee management hub. They created special Docs and Templates that managers can fill in when employees are hired, promoted or leave the company. The sales department has adopted Google Apps to run training programs and create reports. Managers store all types of presentations in Drive, from training guides to skill-building programs to weekly bulletins. Since implementing Google Apps, sales managers spend 30-45% less time inputting data and calculating commissions.

The IT department also appreciates how easy it is to manage Google Apps. There is virtually no maintenance required and we don’t have to operate our own servers. We’ve reduced time spent managing the communications system by at least 30%. Google’s built-in security means we worry far less about about data leaks. Before, employees emailed attachments back and forth, which was not only cumbersome, but created multiple security risks. Now, they just log securely into Drive to collaborate in real-time.

From IT and HR, to sales, management, marketing and beyond, Google Apps has made life easier for all Blizoo employees.aborate in real-time.


Last year we launched the Google Admin app for Android that enabled administrators to easily add users, reset passwords, see audit logs and contact support.

Today we’re launching the Google Admin app for iOS so admins can take care of common tasks on the go directly from their iPhones or iPads.

This app is designed for admins and requires API access to be enabled. Install the Google Admin app for iOS or Android. To learn more, visit the Help Center.

Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

Posted by Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management

The best meetings are face-to-face—we can brainstorm openly, collaborate closely and make faster decisions. But these days, we often connect with each other from far-flung locations, coordinating time zones and dialing into conference calls from our phones. Meetings need to catch up with the way we work—they need to be face-to-face, easier to join, and available from anywhere and any device. Starting today, they can be: Any company can upgrade their meeting rooms with a new Chromebox, built on the Chrome principles of speed, simplicity and security.

Chromebox for meetings brings together Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in an easy-to-manage Chromebox, making it simpler for any company to have high-definition video meetings. Here are a few highlights:

  • Instant meeting room. Chromebox for meetings comes with a blazing-fast Intel Core i7-based Chromebox, a high-definition camera, a combined microphone and speaker unit and a remote control. Set up your entire room in minutes and easily manage all meeting rooms from a web-based management console. All you need is the display in your room, and you’re good to go.
  • Simpler and faster meetings. Walk into the room, click the remote once and you’re instantly in the meeting. No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Share your laptop screen wirelessly, no need for any cords and adaptors. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.
  • Meetings with anyone, anywhere. Up to 15 participants can join the video meeting from other conference rooms, their laptops, tablets or smartphones. Need to meet with a customer who doesn’t use Chromebox for meetings? That’s easy too—all they need is a Gmail account. You can also connect to rooms that have traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from Vidyo, and participants who prefer phones can join your meeting with a conference call number from UberConference.
Chromebox for meetings is available in the U.S. today starting at $999, which includes the ASUS Chromebox and everything you need to get going. That means for the same price that companies have typically paid for one meeting room, they'll be able to outfit 10 rooms—or more. CDW and SYNNEX will help bring Chromebox for meetings to customers and resellers, and Chromeboxes from HP and Dell will be available for meetings in the coming months. Later this year, we plan to launch in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K.

Companies like Eventbrite, Gilt, oDesk and Woolworths have been testing Chromebox for meetings, and have told us that they love the simple setup, the ease of use, and being able to see their colleagues in other offices. More importantly, the low price will enable them to extend these benefits to even more employees, rooms and offices. Find out how Chromebox for meetings can help you and your coworkers see eye-to-eye. Happy meetings, everyone!


Today is Digital Learning Day - a time to celebrate the incredible ways schools use digital tools to help students learn. As a former 4th grade teacher, I'm constantly blown away by the ways today’s teachers have embraced technology. What is happening in today’s classrooms (collaborative writing, virtual field trips) seemed light years away just 10 years ago.

In honor of Digital Learning Day, we'd like to highlight a few benefits that teachers using Google for Education often mention: more powerful sharing, greater student ownership, new insights into the learning process, and connections beyond the school walls.

More powerful sharing
Google Certified Teachers like education trainer Jack West tell us about the transformative power of sharing with Google Docs. Jack says, “The essence of what we do as 21st Century teachers has been distilled by the visionary educators at Point England, New Zealand. We want our students to (1) learn, (2) create and (3) share. Until digital tools like Google Docs came around, it was difficult to help students share their work beyond the other students in their class.”
Students at Passaic High School work together on a timeline of the French Revolution

Greater student ownership
At East Leyden High School in Chicago, teacher Katie Diebold has found her students are more motivated when using digital tools. In her “Exploring Tech” class, she taught a unit on transportation. In the past she had her students do research and then make posters. But this year she had them use dynamic apps like Stupeflix, a video editing tool in the Chrome Web Store, to deliver their projects. Katie explained, “With Chromebooks we can provide students with more choices in how they do their assignments and learn in flexible ways. Students have a range of different tools they are able to use when completing projects to demonstrate what they have learned.”

At Passaic City Public Schools in New Jersey, the district is also using Google Apps and Chromebooks as a centerpiece of their 1:1 model. Even in the early days of their 1:1 program last year the district was seeing impact. Joshua Koen, District Coordinator of Technology, said that “the most obvious benefit of using Chromebooks at Passaic is that students can take an active part in developing their own lesson plans. Rather than a teacher dictating facts to their class, the students can build their own learning experience, working together to solve problems.”

New insights into student learning
Digital tools give teachers views into the student learning process that were never available before. A few months ago I visited a high school English classroom in which the teacher was “dropping in” on the papers students were writing with Google Docs. We opened up one student’s document and we saw that she had pasted the feedback from her last assignment as well as the scoring rubric into the top of her current paper. The teacher was impressed and immediately added a comment into the document praising her approach.

Connecting with the world
When I was teaching I struggled to get speakers to visit my rural classroom. But today tools like Google+ Hangouts help teachers deliver learning beyond the classroom walls. For example, Vida Fernandez, a Special Education 9th grade English teacher in Passaic, taught a lesson on Frankenstein using Hangouts to connect with another class in Germany. The two classes represented the prosecution and defense in a ‘trial’ of Dr. Frankenstein, and both developed a sophisticated understanding of the narrative and characters of the book.

* * * 

Interested in learning more about how Google for Education digital tools can work in your school? If you’re a teacher, check out some of the upcoming educational adventures through Google’s Connected Classrooms. Your students can go underwater with sea creatures, talk to astronauts in space and meet other classrooms around the world. If you’re an administrator, read more about our school solutions at our website.

Posted by Matthew O’Connor, Product Manager

(Cross-posted on the Google Cloud Platform blog)

When you’re building a healthcare-related application, not only do you need the right code and a reliable user experience, sometimes it feels like you need to be a lawyer too. Often, there are several additional steps to take to into consideration. In particular, some healthcare-related applications and services in the United States are required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. HIPAA establishes standards around privacy, security, and breach notification to protect individually identifiable health information. When building in the cloud, it can be challenging to ensure that you’re complying with these regulations.

To serve developers who want to build these applications on Google's infrastructure, we're announcing support for Business Associates Agreements (BAAs) for our customers. A BAA is the contract between a Covered Entity (you, the developer) and their Business Associate (Google) covering the handling of HIPAA-protected information.

Today’s news joins our other compliance efforts across Cloud Platform and Google Enterprise:

  • ISO 27001: ISO 27001 is one of the most widely recognized, internationally accepted independent security standards. After earning ISO 27001 for Google Apps in 2012, we renewed our certification again last year for Google Apps and received the certification for Google Cloud Platform.
  • SOC2, SSAE 16 & ISAE 3402: Companies use the SOC2, SSAE 16 Type II audit, and its international counterpart ISAE 3402 Type II audit, to document and verify the data protections in place for their services. We’ve successfully completed these audits for Google Apps every year since 2008 (when the audits were known by their previous incarnation, SAS 70) and we did so again last year for Google Apps and Google Cloud Platform.
  • HIPAA: Late last year, we started entering into BAAs to allow Google Apps customers to support HIPAA regulated data. This year we have begun entering into BAAs with our Google Cloud Platform customers.

We’re looking forward to supporting customers who are subject to HIPAA regulations on Google Cloud Platform. If you are a Covered Entity under HIPAA and would like more information, please contact our team.

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Dan Maas, Chief Information Officer for Littleton Public Schools, a school district just south of Denver, Colorado, with 15,000 K-12 students across 13 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 3 high schools, several alternative programs, a preschool, and 2 charter schools. Check out their case study to learn more.

What motivated Littleton Public Schools to move to Google Apps?
Students today are growing up in a different educational world. Online tools have fundamentally changed how today’s kids learn, interact and work with each other. Moving to Google Apps was a natural step in creating a modern learning environment for our students, because the tools are intuitive and familiar to them. Before using Google Apps, the district was hosting email servers for teachers and staff, but had no collaboration tools and homework was done largely by emailing attachments or making paper submissions, a cumbersome process. Our top priority was to address these challenges.
LPS buildings average 50 years in age, but with Google, the learning is in the cloud.

How is the district using Google Apps now, nearly two years after deployment?
Today, every Littleton staff member, teacher and student in 4th grade and above has a Google Apps account — some schools have even started introducing their kindergartners to the Google tools. Adoption has been incredible across the board: during the 2011-2012 school year, Littleton students created more than 200,000 new Google Docs, and by the spring of 2013 they were averaging over 20,000 each month.

Are there any teachers or departments in particular that have embraced Google Apps in innovative ways?
I'm inspired by literally hundreds of classrooms in our district and how they're using technology to help their students learn. Katie Christie’s 5th grade class at Runyon Elementary School, for example, is using Apps in a particularly impressive way as part of the "Inspired Writing" initiative. The curriculum revolves around a Google Site that houses learning objectives, resources and videos, assignments, student and teacher work. Mrs. Christie posts assignments daily on a Google Calendar, which is embedded into the class’s Google Site and can even be added to a student or parent’s personal Google account. Google Docs lets students do different kinds of creative homework, including using Google Drawings to creating flowcharts for a book report and relying on Presentations to collectively create and speak to a deck about astronomy. It’s validating for us to know that Google holds her work in equally high regard — Mrs. Christie was recognized as a Google Certified teacher last spring.
Even second graders are using Apps for writing projects like pen pals among multiple schools, where kids don't write together several times a year, but several times every day.

Are you seeing any cost savings from using Google Apps?
We’re saving more than $42,000 each year with Apps, since we no longer have to maintain email servers, storage or licensing software. That’s not even including all the time we’re saving our IT team, since they no longer have to waste hours clearing out full email inboxes and resolving downtime issues.

What are you personally most proud of when you look back at how Littleton has changed since moving to Google Apps?
I love seeing how the technology empowers our students. Google Apps are great equalizers – regardless of their home situation, every student has the opportunity to learn with Apps. These tools, paired with the skills students gain in school, are universal and will serve them for the rest of their lives. It’s so inspiring to me and all our teachers to see the students light up and become masters of their own direction.
LPS students create 20,000 Google Docs every month as a normal part of their learning.

One cannot underestimate the power of collaboration. Any given feature set of a software or cloud application will evolve over time, so the specific skills are not as important. But the habits of mind that one develops by working with collaborative documents are truly different than what a 20th century education encouraged. Collaboration means inclusion; inclusion means more brain power applied to a problem; more brain power means better solutions; and better solutions produced by an inclusive process means better overall understanding. What more could any educator hope for?