Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Trials to You

Over the years I have taken many courses in media production as a nontraditional student at the Academy of Entertainment and Technology, which is run by my local community college district. Apparently, however, the local college has now embraced the Google@School program, which promises to save campuses money by outsourcing costly computer services and server maintenance, although the issues about student privacy protections may not be entirely resolved. In an e-mail titled "SMC + GOOGLE = HAPPY STUDENTS" I received the following fatuous bit of purple prose:

Have you heard the great news?! GOOGLE APPS is coming for SMC STUDENTS!

Why this is VERY COOL for students:

- Provides 7+GB storage‐ 800 times more than the current SMC student email system

- Students will have access to Google Docs, Chat and Calendar

- Google’s interface is HIGH QUALITY and STUDENT FRIENDLY

- Students will have a LIFETIME email address (as long as Google is the service provider)

- Student email and documents will be available EVERYWHERE you go!

Why this is VERY COOL for the College:

- Provides the BEST TECHNOLOGY EXPERIENCE for our students.


- Happy Students = Productive and Successful Students!

How and when can you access your new email accounts?

- It’s easy! After April 13th you can access your new account through CORSAIR CONNECT (formerly the Student Self‐Service System)

All-caps ejaculations aside, I find the idea that 7GB of storage, which is not enough to do a typical video project in an AET class, represents such a generous offer, or that "as long as Google is the service provider" doesn't represent a form of coercion. Siva Vaidhyanathan has written about the "Googlization of Everything" as a threat to educational institutions, but in a time of budget crises, colleges may be swayed by temptations to offload IT to a private company.

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Blogger tom s. said...

You may be interested in the dispute at Lakehead University in Canada: see

4:20 PM  

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