MON: A Leap Of Faith: How Switching To G Suite For Education Can Influence Open Practice (Phill Grimes)
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1 January 2019
Making the switch to use different technologies and Open Practice can be a massive decision, but, there are many benefits to using Google's G Suite despite its currently small market share compared to Office 365 (Rayome, 2018). Influence on Open Practice is one such benefit.
Innovation often comes with big risks attached that requires a metaphorical leap of faith in order for the innovators and early adopters to begin a process of diffusion throughout an institution (Rogers, 2003).
The presentation will address initial findings into how G Suite for Education has influenced the agency of Open Practice within a Further Education college that made the leap away from a paper and Office 365 based strategy to Google’s package of Apps. The findings will address how practice has changed towards open practices, regardless of intention.
There are a number of operational issues that can plague institutions both economically and technologically that can be compounded by relying on application packages such as office 365. Education in the UK has suffered a funding crisis for a number of years that has resulted in colleges having to cut operational costs. Office 365 comes with higher costs and a more individual customisation which requires overhead costs either in internal or external staff to maintain. G suite is completely cloud based requiring only a low level onsite skill-set to maintain the administrator console. (Magnusson, 2018)
According to Professor Clayton Christensen (2014), what we should be looking at is to target innovation that can change the way students learn and is more about how technology is applied in a more peer to peer manner. He goes on to suggest many Practices which have similarities to Open Educational Practice (OEP).
The potential benefits and limits of Open Education Practice are widely reported in the literature and explored briefly in this paper. However, there is a lack of empirical data about the use of Open Educational Practices, particularly in institutions without Open Education. OEP is a broad descriptor that includes the creation, use and reuse of OER, open pedagogies, and open sharing of teaching practices (Cronin, 2017)
There is currently very little literature in regards to G suite for education, Google classroom and Google apps in the primary to tertiary (16-19) level (Bartolo, 2017) of enough breadth and depth to be meaningful.
The approach to the project has been to gain an in depth insight to the capabilities and functions of G Suite, beyond that of a simple word processor, spreadsheet, slideshow and Virtual Learning Environment Repository and explore how these functions are being used within a College, both intentionally and unintentionally focusing on Open Educational Practice.
The project gains insight from a number of sources: G Suite administrator fundamentals MOOC, Online conferences such as ALT-C and Ditchsummit.com, Networking through social media, networking and interviews with Colleagues and a survey to staff from two departments.
2018 UPDATE: G Suite vs Office 365 COMPARISON - everything you should know! (2018) Youtube video, added by Magnussen, C. [online] Available at >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTslJjbg-xU&feature=youtu.be (accessed 28th December 2018)
Bartolo, P. (2017) Integrating google apps and google chromebooks into the core curriculum: A phenomenological study of the lived experience of public school teachers, Unpublished PhD thesis, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
Horn, M.B., Staker, H., & Christensen, C.M. (2014) Blended : Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. John Wiley & Sons incorporated
Cronin, C. (2017) Openness and Praxis: Exploring the use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning vol. 18 (5)
Rayome, A.D. (2018) How to shift your workplace from Microsoft Office to G Suite: 4 steps [online] Available at https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-shift-your-workplace-from-microsoft-office-to-g-suite-in-4-steps/ (accessed 3rd January 2019)
Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of innovations. 5th edition. Free Press
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13:58 on 10 January 2019 (Edited 14:40 on 16 January 2019)