Using the Internet as Your Network

Good Morning Readers!

I have discussed within the past year or so the importance of considering a change to Google Apps as a way to run your school, and while I have seen schools adopt its usages to some extent, I am not seeing the full implementation by any school yet.  I have seen schools implement the email systems with some shared documents here and there, but by and large I am not noticing policies that reflect a complete movement toward them or an entire community shift in how it communicates its information.  And whether Google Apps, Outlook.com, Dropbox, or iCloud is your preferred platform, it is vital to make a move to using the Internet as your network now.  Here is why.

Tablets are going to continue to grow as a choice in computing for many users, and tablets by design are making use of the Internet as a network already.   Server speeds, connections to servers, data storage, and your accessibility to the Internet are making it easier for experts in server administration to provide low cost services to the tablet market via the Internet.  You have heard that the desktop is dying out, and well the local network is dying out too.  As these tablets become better and faster more people will choose them for the cost, accessibility, and portability.  Yes, there will still be a need for laptops, servers, and desktops, but the average user is going to want this low cost solution of pay as you need it; and therefore, your network should service it via the Internet.  And why not do that for free?

Services via the Internet are also growing by at an incredible rate.  If you are are a Microsoft Office enthusiast, you can get a free version of Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint via outlook.com for your school.  Google offers its own version of documents, spreadsheets, gmail, and presentations, and it is even offering a way to connect your printers to your own virtual print servers to print from any device including iPads.  So think about that for a minute, the best network administrators in the world (Google, Microsoft, and others) have created a virtual school system and server for you for free.  That sounds like a great deal for me and less headaches.

Even if you simply start your email system, you should start implementing it today.  These services will only continue to grow and to improve as the market dictates the move to tablets.  You will need to support it, and why not do that for free.  A network on the Internet can reach more people, and a safety guarantee from Google or Microsoft security experts is better than any government policy to protect our kids on the Internet.

If you have any concerns or questions about this week’s writing please submit your comments below.  I am also absolutely learning.

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