Google European Education User Group (Geug) meet up.

A chance for European users of edu apps to get together, share experiences and see the future roadmap for Google.


  1. Whatever your thoughts are on Google there's one thing you can't deny - they certainly know how to manage huge amounts of data from hundreds of millions of users. Higher education institutions also manage data, but not in such quantities. Apart from the student admin data, HEI's have historically had to manage and host student email, calendar and file storage accounts. So when a company like Google says "hey we can do that for you for free" it really is a no brainer. Approximately 5 years ago we moved our student email and calendar to Google, removing our need to host and manage data and services on our own servers. Yes we had all the usual "data ownership" questions and these were categorically answered and since then we haven't looked back.
  2. Where are we now? As part of our student implementation of Google Apps we also offered staff the chance to have Google Accounts in a "pilot" fashion so as to slowly increase staff access & awareness. Approximately 120 of our 1000 academic staff have active Google Accounts. Most are primarily using docs (and now drive) for collaborative document development and sharing, but more recently some have been using Google+ to explore how we might best use social connectivity to engage with our students. One example of this is by encouraging the use of Google Hangout as a form of flexible personal tutoring tool. As anyone who uses Google+ knows it features a rich set of tools to collaborate and share, but more importantly allows users to decide who to share what with. In October 2011 I outlined my thoughts on what I expected we could do with Google+ and since writing that I have taken up the post of Head of E-Learning so I am looking forward to implementing much of this.
  3. Our first stage is to internally authorise the use of Google Apps for staff. Having already established the students as users over a number of years certainly helps with this - after all why wouldn't we want our staff to be able to collaborate with our students? The main technical challenges lie in the domain set up and authentication processes. In the first phase we intend not to include Calendar & Email. Some of you will think this a bit crazy, but it will take culturally longer to "change" the email system than to offer services which are in addition to what we already have. It is part of a longer approach to "open practices" which Sarah Horrigan highlighted so well.
  4. Initially we will support students and staff in collaboratively using: 1 - Google Docs 2 - Google+ (creating circles for different groups etc, but also as a blogging tool) 3 - Google Hangouts (as part of a flexible personal tutoring system and broader staff/student communications, and as an informal lecture/session recording tool).
  5. But there are lots of other interesting ways we can use Google Products like the example below, but these uses are never likely to be mainstream for us but certainly should be encouraged.
  6. #geug12 Creative Solutions with Google Products
  7. One thing at Geug12 that did interest me was the way Portsmouth have used the Google Apps system to build a portal.
  8. I notice too that ACU also appear to use Google for a similar purpose.
  9. I think that is still a way off for us, but I do see that as the culture of "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) increases then Google's web based approach to services and products is one which will likely suit institutions on the broadest scale. I think the challenge will be to provide a quality user experience across a broad range of devices, something which Google themselves struggle with.
  10. If you are using Google Apps in your institution and couldn't make the event it really is worthwhile just to share experiences and stories, but also for that insider roadmap info!
  11. Google tastic day #geug12
    Google tastic day #geug12