Monday, February 04, 2008

SMJK Educational Portal will be using Google Apps Educational Edition

SMJK has been moving with the advancement of time. These group of 78 SMJK (Government-aided Chinese Secondary Schools) has moved forward to transform under the domain of IT.

Attached is a news of its implementations of Google Apps Educational Edition. This appears in Computerworld Singapore

Full article is as below:-

Tiong Ting Ming, IT advisor at SMJK (Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan), which controls 78 schools in Malaysia, faced a number of obstacles to upgrading its schools’ IT infrastructure. The students wanted a way to share documents, have personal school email accounts and be connected to the school system for homework updates.

But funding was the biggest obstacle. Since the school group’s IT relied on the charity of external parties and organisations, it was not about to upgrade its entire hardware architecture. In fact, Microsoft licences for its Office suite were beginning to be a problem, and the school turned to its open-source counterpart, Open Office, instead.

However, Open Office required computing power they couldn’t spare. SMJK’s computers, mostly Pentium IIIs, were unable to handle the software, either crashing or behaving very sluggishly.

So Tiong turned to Google Apps Educational Edition, a free version giving them 2GB of storage per user and a pledge from Google to supply 200,000 email accounts, after they wrote to Google with a plea.

Tiong estimates these accounts will last the organisation approximately five years. More importantly, he estimates this set-up will cost a mere eighth of an otherwise large expenditure of around US$3 million-US$4 million with a traditional desktop software set-up.

When interviewed, he didn’t seem to think that latency issues were of significant concern. However, his organisation does not require quick response time from its applications. Since the majority of users will be students, who are used to the free GMail, this is likely to be easily accepted.

“In the past, you would have felt something amiss if you didn’t store your document on a physical diskette. But these days, in a networked environment, we are much more accustomed to saving something ‘invisibly’ on a network drive,” he said.
“What’s the difference between saving it on a network drive and saving it ‘somewhere’ on a server? Students don’t feel it odd; it is just a change in mindset,” he said.

No comments: