(Ashland, Ore) Southern Oregon University will deploy Google Apps for Education, Google’s set of hosted and customizable communications for higher education, as part of the university’s Information Technology offerings for students, faculty and staff.
In addition to adding new technology solutions for students and eventually staff and faculty, the move promises to save the university approximately $2,500 a year in energy costs, and, over three years, another $18,000 in hardware expenses. When the transition is complete, another $35,000 in software licensing will be recaptured for repurposing to support technology needs.
There is a “green” component to the switch; by taking advantages of Google’s highly efficient off-site data (aka “cloud”) storage, the e-waste generated every time the university cycles outdated hardware will be avoided.
The initial rollout will be Google Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites and Google Talk for students on Monday, December 13, 2010. A faculty/staff deployment in spring of 2011 will see the addition of a new “Google Infrastructure” that will give students, faculty, and staff access to the core Google Apps for Education and approximately 150 other Google offerings, including technologies such as Blogger and Google Voice.
Google Apps for Education allows schools and universities to give Google’s communication and collaboration abilities to a campus community for free. All services are hosted by Google and can be accessed via any Internet-connected computer and many mobile devices.