I decided to wait on posting this because I wanted to talk to a couple people in the technology department at Regina Catholic. I talked to two people directly, our supervisor of IT and our supervisor or digital design. After talking with them here was some information that I came across that I thought was important for me to weigh when looking at the software I was going to use with my students:
- Microsoft Operating Systems, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Office 365 were all purchased by the Ministry for school division use.
- For a school division to use Google Docs and google to house student accounts there is significant corporate fee.
- Just because it was free didn't mean our school division just jumped right into 365. The IT spent significant time doing a comparison of the two products (Docs and 365). Google docs was ahead of it's time 3 years ago. However with the newest version of Office 365 there was no significant differences in functionality. Microsoft had taken the best of Docs and incorporated it into 365.
- Using Google Docs as a corporation as opposed to 365 would result in significant back end problems with the technology department. It just doesn't have the complexity of the Microsoft software. This includes security features.
- Using Google docs is certainly an option separate from the school division, as it has many great features. A hindrance to this is that google docs users need to be 13 years of age. If they are not they require parental permission. A lot of extra work for teachers to get no extra functionality out of the software.
- The student accounts in my division are now linked through Microsoft 365 and sharing files, collaborating on-line on a document, and emailing them all is only clicks away and all this software is supported by our IT.
Google Doc lovers, let me know what I'm missing and change my mind in the comments!