Our district is currently looking at going to a free email hosted solution with the capability for online storage and document creation.  We are looking at these two.  

I am finding that Microsoft has recently put a lot of resources into their platform and it looks pretty interesting.




Has anyone made this decision/comparison recently?  I would love to hear what you all have to say. 

Tags: apps, google, live@edu

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unfortunately It depends on what type of document (word, excel, powerpoint or one note) and if you are talking about editing in the office client, or the web app. 


In the web apps, only excel supports simultaneous editing for Word and PowerPoint simultaneous editing, you’ll need to have the full client versions of the Office 2010 products. See http://blogs.kraftkennedy.com/index.php/2010/03/08/simultaneous-edi...


This article also has a good comparison of google v office web apps in this area http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/IT/archive/2010/08/26/co-authoring...

I used Etherpad and now use Google Docs pretty heavily.  The major revision Google made to Docs not too long after they bought Etherpad showed that they integrated most of Etherpad's features into Docs word processing.  The only Etherpad feature I have found missing from G-Docs was the way Etherpad showed a different highlight color for each editor in real-time.  To pick out individual user contributions in Google Docs, you now need to look at the revision history.
I wouldn't upload at all. It is much faster to just recreate it in Google Docs. Then play it online when you need it. Google Docs doesn't have transitions like PowerPoint, but it does have incremental reveal just right click on the border of a text box or picture. Presentations print in pdf form and they look great!

The other thing I've done is start online with a Google doc or presentation then download it in to Word or PowerPoint only if I need to do some sort of fancy editing for a final product, etc. I, too, have learned that starting in Google makes more sense then uploading from Word.


Thanks everyone for good insight into the two products. May I ask at what age you are giving students email accounts? Also, what policy/procedure things are you doing regarding this? Have you required parent permission for kids under 16, for instance? I would love to see any documents you've created, if you're willing to share.



We are looking at giving all students gmail acounts but limiting access for elementary students to in district email.
Is there a way to do that with google?
Yes, whoever is set up with admin accounts can determine what email groups have what rights.  You can allow students to only recive email from within the district.  You can also allow certian domains to email your students and you can block what type of attachments they can use.
The google admin does this through the Postini component using inbound and outbound content rules (for email) the other tools do not support this level of granularity they are either on or off for a group of users and sharing outside the domain is either on or off for any user that has access to the tool.

True, that is a good option if you only have 2 groups (all open and restricted).http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=177482&hl=en

 I have not check  the new Google option to see if it is smart enough to allow the specific email addresses that Google uses for things like calendar notification etc.. In postini you have to allow these specific emails.

Our school system uses Gaggle for 3rd grade and up. It is strickly monitored. Since I teach 2nd grade, I don't know much more. Our Google Docs is a school account also. All students have a Google Doc account.

Thought this was interesting on the Google informational PDF under the section about CIPA/COPPA:


"How does use of Google Apps affect compliance with the Child OnlinePrivacy and Protection Act (COPPA)?Your school assumes the responsibility for complying with COPPA and theinformation that students submit. Per the Google Apps for Education Agreement,any school administering Google Apps for Education acknowledges and agreesthat it is solely responsible for compliance with COPPA, including, but not limitedto, obtaining parental consent concerning collection of students’ personalinformation used in connection with the provisioning and use of the Servicesby the Customer and End Users."



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