Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
Oregon's K-12 classrooms now have access to Google's cloud-computing system.
The Oregon Department of Education is now working with Google to allow the district's public schools use the Google Apps for Education services. Although the services are already in use in a number of colleges and universities, Oregon is the first state in the nation to sign up for the program in K-12 classrooms. The services include advertisement-free email, calendars, online documents, video conferencing and website creation. Typically, incorporating Google Apps services takes about six weeks, but the Oregon deployment took about 10 months because of the extra measures taken to ensure the security of students' information, including creating a specific user agreement to comply with state legal requirements on student records and safety protections. School staff will also be able to control the amount and type of emails messages allowed in the system, as well as manage user security and safety in other ways. The state is estimated to save about $1.5 million annually from this transition to the cloud-based computing system. (Image: Google Apps )