Google Apps For Education


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Nice video explanation of using Google Apps in education.

Google Apps For Education | Twine

RETOOLING THE CLASSROOM: NEW APPROACHES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Bridging the Gap Connecting education with how young people use digital technology in their personal lives

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Software Alternatives


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Lifehacker has a post talking about, an on-line search engine that give alternatives to well known software. Like Photoshop? Try The Gimp!

Lifehacker – AlternativeTo Suggests Software Alternatives – Search engines


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When DID the IT Staff Become Our Bosses?


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The tales of colleges being unable to implement any good practice involving IT (as defined by, amongst others, our HMIe overlords friends) are legion. Most of it is related to the baffling willingness of educators to allow support staff to dictate how we should teach.

While I can see the reasons for blocking certain sites containing, for example, porn, and the rules for access to JANET are clear, the stories of colleges blocking perfectly usable sites are mounting and becoming more ridiculous by the day.

Why, in the name of all that’s Web 2.0, does a college of my acquaintance block Google Mail? Or Google Docs come to that? Descriptors abound requiring students to access newsgroups. Only problem is many colleges block NNTP traffic. Why? Even worse why, when asked to unblock this traffic, do system administrators refuse on spurious “security” reasons? And why do we let them! The same applies to e-mail or chats.

If any administrator can come up with a sensible reason for this, and that excludes any explanation that includes the phrase “in case”, then I’d love to hear it.

It’s the 21st century. I spend half my time listening to tales of there not being enough IT equipment and the other half hearing that students are unable to bring their own laptops into colleges. Is there a relationship here?

The bottom line is this. Support services are there to support and if education is being compromised then we have to address this; and sooner rather than later.

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Google Book Viewer


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There are times when you might want to let students on your VLE have a glimpse into recommended books. This is where the Google Book Search APIs come into use.

Simply put the APIs allow you to embed Google Book Search into web pages, either as a button or, as previewed here, as a complete book viewer on your web page.

Even better there are many public domain books that can be shown in their entirety. Bet you wish you were reading one of them instead of this right now…

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