Schools are (almost) out for summer...and in for Apps

(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog)

With school almost out for summer, things are hitting a frenzied end-of-year pace in classrooms; and life is similarly fast-paced for the Google’s Apps for Education team as we work with the schools adopting Google Apps in increasing numbers. Today we’ve reached another milestone — 8 million students, faculty and staff around the world have gone Google. To put this in perspective, the U.S. has about 16 million college students total. This new milestone has been keeping us especially busy since it comes less than 60 days after we announced 7 million active users.

It’s pretty cool to see adoption growing even as the school year wraps up, because it means more freshmen get to come to campus and dive into using Google Apps for email and collaboration next fall. Some of the new schools in this bunch are Morehouse, University of Rhode Island, University of Nevada Las Vegas, the Metropolitan State College of Denver and North Carolina State University. These colleges and universities join thousands of others that have gone Google, some of which you can see on this map. According to the Campus Computing survey, more than 80 percent of schools in the U.S. have moved to cloud computing or are considering it, and of those almost 60 percent choose Google Apps, so these new schools have plenty of company.

With this kind of growth, we expect a lot of quick change. Some schools choose Apps for students (UC Davis), and some migrate their faculty and staff, either with or after student deployments (like Boise State University). Some schools deploy for alumni (like Notre Dame) and some pilot Apps rollouts with their graduate schools (like Howard University). We always support pilots as they help schools check out how their productivity, or even server costs, can change with group collaboration and web-based tools and often lead to broader deployments down the line. Universities (like Googlers!) are experts at trying a lot of things and sticking with what works for them. As Apps for Edu heads toward its fourth birthday we expect we’ll see schools continue to develop personalized plans for piloting, deployment and of course, use. One cool example is from Temple University, which designated April Google Apps month and built a Google site to help students and faculty learn more about the tools and get their feedback.

Often schools will find that something that works for them, and continue to build from there. For example, after Vanderbilt University successfully deployed Google Apps for their students, they decided they wanted to improve search on their site, too — so they also rolled out Google Site Search. To hear more from Vanderbilt about how and why they did this, tune in to our webinar on Wednesday, May 12 (you can register here). Google Apps and search tools helped Vandy save $750,000 annually, and the student population is all about collaborating in the cloud: the student government takes meeting notes on Docs and also shares a campus-wide activity calendar. That’s Commodore efficiency at its best.

Even though our summer break won’t necessarily consist of exotic travel, summer school, or pool-side relaxation, we’ll keep busy working with schools as they deploy Google Apps. So, if you’ve done something neat at your school to “go Google”, we’d love to hear about it.