Home > Uncategorized > Nightmare Scenario – Google Apps Education

Nightmare Scenario – Google Apps Education

We are now six months into our Google Apps Education migration and it has been quite successful in providing our staff communication and collaborative tools to work more effectively. I have seen teachers collaborate on Google Docs, and I have seen Google Calendar used to reserve rooms at our school. Google Sites has probably been the most productive tool as staff members use it to share resources with the rest of the staff. The wiki has grown to almost a hundred pages worth of information. The amount of data put in the Google Apps Education cloud has been exciting to experience since we first integrated it at our site.

This is when the nightmare situation hit me…

What if Google Apps decided to change their policy and start charging for their services? I know it is probably highly unlikely that Google would do such a thing, but what if Google decided they need to start charging schools. It would be the perfect example of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” scenario. Google bates you in with free services and schools create a massive knowledge database in their cloud. The data uploaded to Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Sites becomes so large that it would be nearly impossible to backup the information to another service or internal server. Google then turns around and says, “sorry folks, but due to financial crisis, we need to start charging to use our tools.” I could just see IT Directors fainting in agony. What a nightmare scenario for schools?

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  1. January 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I guess it would depend on the cost. You are getting the service for free. But if you weren’t, you would have to pay for some other service. It probably would not be as good. Maybe because it was worse, you would have less people using it, and have less information to back up?
    My district uses Firstclass to try and do the things that Google Apps can do. I saw try, because it fails. Many people don’t use it, making the whole thing a useless mess that is difficult to navigate, and harder to teach others to use.
    I can see where you are going with your thought though. It would be nice if you could 100% trust google to be upfront about their long term intentions.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Google has said publicly that they never will charge more for a product to schools than they charge now. Is that legally binding, No. What do we do if any product becomes too expensive for our schools? We find a cheaper one and migrate. So far they have given us no reason to believe they are going to turn evil on schools. Everyone should still have an escape plan just in case. Google’s Data Liberation Project makes this more possible than it ever was before.

  3. April 16, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Well, partly that would be “evil,” and not doing evil is part of the Google mission statement, right? Also, it seems to me that they are just about the only tech company that’s figured out the business strategy. They’ve got the “freemium” thing done really well, and their stock is nearly at $600 a share.

    Personally, I’m more worried that they’ll start showing kids ads than I am that they’d start charging an annual license fee.

  4. April 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I agree! You always take some level of risk going with someone else’s service such as putting all my communication infrastructure on Google Apps servers. But I am confident Google will maintain their policy, I always look at worst case scenarios. Do you notice that ads pop up on our Google Apps Edu email accounts right above our inbox? Hmmm…

  5. jice
    April 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Doesn’t google ultimately own all the information?

  1. January 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm

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