Many people across eXtension are familiar with the many products Google offers. The suite of products is generally referred to as Google Apps. Common Google Apps include Google Docs, YouTube, Google Hangouts (and Google Hangouts on Air), Blogger, Google Analytics, Google Maps, and of course, Google Mail (Gmail) as well as many more. When looking at the Google Apps suite, a question for many is “do any/all of the Google Apps have direct advantages to serving the Cooperative Extension mission?” In other words, why would you as an individual, or even “you” as an Institution use and adopt this particular technology application?
Part of the proposed new eXtension strategic plan includes a process by which technology tools and workplace advances can be evaluated and demonstrated in the context of the needs of the Cooperative Extension Service as a whole. The use of Google Apps, and the potential uses within CES, is one of the technologies being looked at by a group of users from across the System.
The nine-member “Google Apps for CES” team has been tasked with shedding insight on the use of Google Apps – specifically in the context of use in the CES system (individually, state/regional, or national level). Not only are they looking at Google Apps, but they are also using the Google App tools “by example” to demonstrate their use to CES. The group has been tasked to give guidance on some areas that can help entities within CES evaluate these tools. Tasks include:
1.) What Google Apps compliment the work process of CES educators (create efficiencies, teach proficiencies, provide new collaboration opportunities, support clients)
2.) Who is using Google Apps across the system and what have they learned?
3.) What processes, or pitfalls might CES encounter with these tools or technologies that need to be identified?
4.) What ways do Google Apps help serve the CES mission of creating channels for science-based information to reach the public?
The short-term goal of this group is to provide insight to those that need it across the system on the value of Google Apps to CES. As a long-term goal, additional training (both virtual and on-site) would be available. If you can’t wait to see what this group has to say, you don’t have to! They have created some spaces (using Google Apps tools of course) for you to watch and join right away:
You have the opportunity to use many of the Google Apps by signing in with your eXtensionID. In order to do that, you will need to know your eXtensionID (found in the People eXtension app – http://people.extension.org) and your password you use in eXtension. Detailed instructions can be seen on our short video eXtHelp – Using your eXtensionID to Access with Google Apps [Video] 2:31.