Navigating Google Workspace for Education
As we continue to lean into the hybrid world of technology and leverage hybrid solutions to enhance educational institutions and organizations, finding the right platform can be a challenge. It seems like there are too many options, and each of those provide multiple levels, tiers, or payment options – which can quickly become very confusing. Once an educational institution decides to invest in a cloud platform, it’s imperative to get it right.
Ingram Micro Cloud specializes in helping partners, resellers, and end customers alike in finding the best solution for their needs. With dedicated and personalized training, our SMEs can help any organization navigate the tricky world of matching technology with organizational needs. Understanding the delicate balance of ensuring the technology fits the needs today, as well as having the room to grow into the needs of tomorrow is what Ingram Micro Cloud does best.
Within the education world, Google Workspace for Education continues to be one of the most preferred platforms. As with all good technology, Google Workspace for Education has evolved throughout the years and now provides educators and administrators with four different options so schools can get exactly what they need. How does one know which version is the best fit for them? Let’s break it down, shall we?
Google Workspace for Education is carefully and intentionally designed to help institutions improve collaboration, learning, and security for students and teachers, all while keeping compliance and privacy in mind for administration. With Google Workspace for Education, schools are offered more choice, control, and flexibility to meet their needs.
Choose the Edition That’s Right for Your Institution
There are four main options for Google Workspace for Education. Each one offers a little more than the previous one, yet all offer more than the basics necessary to find success in the educational cloud.
This no cost offering is an excellent way to become familiar with Google Workspace for Education, as it offers educators a secure and flexible foundation for every learning environment, with collaboration, communication, productivity, and compliance in mind. Education Fundamentals allows educators and students to leverage tools like Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drive, Forms, Jamboard, Classroom, Assignments, Gmail, Meet, Chat, Keep, Calendar, Tasks, and Admin – all for free! Educators and Administrators can easily add new users, manage multiple devices, configure security, and limit remote access to any endpoint.
Education Fundamentals is the perfect starter pack for many educational institutions. It provides educators, administrators, and IT teams the peace of mind of knowing that students have the tools needed to enhance their education experience while remaining safe and compliant with necessary requirements. The product is free for qualifying institutions, and you can learn more details about the requirements here.
This particular tier offers everything that Education Fundamentals offers along with the increased visibility and control of the learning environment with advanced security and analytic tools. So, let’s say your educational institution requires that students take home Chromebooks to submit assignments, log into their classroom portals, and access their grades. Usually, all that is needed to access this is Wi-Fi and a password, which can leave security a challenge.
Outside of hackers within the educational institution attempting to change their grades, more advanced hackers are still a real threat. Moreover, managing every individual computer and what they’re accessing can be a logistical nightmare for the technology department and administration. Google Workspace for Education Standard offers peace of mind by providing advanced security tools that allow educational institutions to prevent, detect, and remediate threats through a centralized dashboard. This dashboard also enables central control and management of devices, apps, and internet restrictions across the board. The advanced security features also gives educators some comfort, as it ensures safer file-sharing and allows for classification of files based on sensitivity levels, all within the security of the Google Drive.
With the analytics tools, educators and administrators can gain more insights by exporting logs, running queries, and analyzing the data to have a better understanding of how the class is performing overall, and on an individual student basis. Who couldn’t benefit from that?
“The reporting and data we can access in Education Standard is much more streamlined and intuitive — and that gives us a much more expansive view into use and performance of our services,” noted Karl Bernard, IT Business Partner of Academies Enterprise Trust.
The Teaching and Learning Upgrade edition adds advanced educator tools to help enrich communication and learning experiences, as well as provide tools to drive academic integrity. Picking up where Education Fundamentals left off, Teaching and Learning Upgrade includes Google Meet, Classroom, and Assignments. This allows for educators to video conference with up to 250 students at once, or live stream with up to 10,000 viewers. They’re also able to create breakout rooms within Google Meet that allows students to work in small groups. Educators can track attendance, share interactive Q&A and polls, as well as include captions – all in real-time while in Google Meet. They also have the ability to record sessions and translate and store sessions in the Drive for students to access at later times. Charley Butcher, the Director of Instructional Technology at the University of Lynchburg added, “Once I show Google Workspace for Education and Meet to people on campus, the light bulb comes on, and they’re off and running with new ideas.”
Google Meet is a phenomenal tool for classrooms that are split between in-person and remote, as well as a necessity for quarantines and those days students struggle to physically get to class. Who knows? With this kind of technology option available, perhaps snow days and weather-related absences are problems of the past, as education doesn’t have to be interrupted (but don’t tell the students just yet).
This Teaching and Learning Upgrade also gives educators the ability to generate unlimited reports and pull from a private repository to ensure students are keeping up with the lessons and doing their own work.
The most comprehensive version of them all, Google Workspace for Education Plus includes everything in Education Standard and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade plus more.
Educators benefit from the ability to collaborate in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as being able to do this live in a Google Meet call. They’ll also love that they can create and manage classes at scale by syncing Classroom rosters with the student information system.
Streamlined, organized, and accessible are the best way to describe the classrooms functioning within Google Workspace for Education Plus. In this edition, not only can educators provide approvals or rejections directly within files (Drive, Gmail, Docs, Slides and more) – they can include detailed feedback as well. Most importantly, educators, IT teams, and administrators will all be able to leverage faster support directly from the Google team.
Security is also enhanced, with IT professionals in mind. The central dashboard available in Education Standard comes with a little more bells and whistles in this edition, with additional storage available for each license, allowing more space for more education!
Chris Budzynski, the Chief Technology Officer of Huntley Community School District 158, loves Google Workspace for Education Plus, stating, “If we are made aware of an email security incident, we can now see the data in real time and remediate the situation in a matter of minutes.”
No matter which edition is best for your educational institution, the cost is an important factor in this decision. While the Education Fundamentals is free for qualifying institutions, the rest do come with a price tag. All pricing information is available directly at our Cloud Marketplace at a discounted rate of 20% for Ingram Micro Cloud resellers.
Pricing can be dependent on the type of Google Workspace service that is being sold. We recommend reaching out to our team, as we’re always ready to help with any questions you have and have a conversation about these details.
Ingram Micro Cloud offers value-added services driving success for thriving Resellers, MSPs, and IT Providers. Our team is full of information and ready to train you and your team on pairing the best version of Google Workspace for Education for your customer’s needs.
As an authorized Google reseller with Ingram Micro Cloud, you can up-level your services and ensure that your customers are utilizing all resources available to help drive innovation within their business line.
Whether you’re in retail, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, public sector, or education, resellers of all sizes find more support and benefits by joining our team.
For more information or support, contact your Ingram Micro Google Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category Growth & Best Practices, Industry Trends & Insights, Platform & Product Updates
Written by Cara Eberle
Published on June 03, 2022
Cara Eberle, Cloud Vendor Manager, Ingram Micro Cloud
Cara uses her multi-year experience in the Channel to drive growth and product adoption for our various strategic and emerging SaaS vendor partners.