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.

OpenOffice.org

I was a beta tester for Microsoft Office 2007, and when the expiration date ran out, I decided to save some money and try the open source solution called OpenOffice.org. I have been pleasantly surprised with it thus far; and therefore, I am doing my part in promoting this software through this testimonial.

I have used the spreadsheet software and the word processing software, and I have found that it meets most of my needs as a teacher, web developer, and small business owner. It is not as sophisticated as Microsoft Office, but with a little computer knowledge and basic programming understanding, one can develop databases and spreadsheets. The word processing and presentational software are cake, but they also require a little thinking to develop more sophisticated documents and presentations. Finally, there are two programs, a math and a draw program, which I have not used yet.

As for compatibility, I can easily transfer files to and from OpenOffice.org and Microsoft products, and it works well with PDF files. Because I have been so impressed with this open source software running upon Windows XP, I have most recently downloaded the open source photo editing software called GIMP, and I’ll let you know more about that later.

OpenOffice.org provides the software for free, but they would like to get their users to contribute somehow to the entire project. I chose to write this testimonial to make other educators aware of how they can save money in their school districts. I have also decided to contribute my expertise with office type programs so that educators can feel free to ask me questions about how to use it. Finally, Please visit OpenOffice.org today, and try a free and wonderful tool that could save your company and/or school district a lot of money.