Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Free Cloud Apps for Educational Institutes: Schools, Colleges, Universities

Why schools, colleges & universities around the world are moving to the free Cloud Computing Applications? What are the benefits of moving to the cloud? What are the pre-requisites for moving to the free education cloud apps?

Best & Free Cloud Apps for Educational Institutes

  • Google Apps Education Edition
  • Microsoft Live@edu

A Small Sample of Schools using Google Apps Education Cloud


  • Free of cost, robust service.
  • Branding of your institute (school, college or university) as you’ve a custom domain e-Mail Ids with your school/college/university name as suffix (Say your institute’s domain name is then your students will have e-Mail Ids like
  • Enterprise class hosted e-Mail: the quality of e-Mail service, collaboration tools & storage services are better than any of the available paid on-premise services. (I guess!)
  • Quick & Effective Communication with Anytime Anywhere Access.
  • Collaborate globally: Collaboration tools leads to collective intelligence & creativity as students may work on their project document at the same time.
  • Help teachers (& students) in organizing their classroom presentations and schedules.
  • No maintenance cost.
  • Security will be taken care of by the provider.
  • Privacy: Google Apps is in compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). I am not so sure about Live@Edu.
  • Go Green: You’ll save on notebooks, papers, printing etc.
  • Easy to deploy.
  • Finally, you choose any one of them & your institute is associating itself with one of the most respected global IT brands.

A Brief List of Schools, Colleges, Universities & State Education Departments already on Cloud Apps:

Google Apps Education Edition Deployments 

  • Oregon Department of Education (USA)
  • University of Southern California (USA)
  • Arizona State University (USA)
  • University of Notre Dame (USA)
  • XIM – Bhubaneshwar (India)
  • IT-BHU (India)
  • FMS, the University of Delhi (India)
  • New South Wales Department of Education and Training (Australia)
  • Open University Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • University of Cape Town - Graduate School of Business (South Africa)
  • Alexandria University (Egypt)
  • Riyadh College of Technology (Saudi Arabia)
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Ciencias (Mexico)
  • HCMC University of Technology (Vietnam)
  • University of Batangas (Philippines)
  • Politeknik Kesehatan Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

The above image shows a small sample of Schools going Google…

Microsoft Live@edu Deployments

Update - April 12, 2012: Microsoft Corp. and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced that AICTE is deploying Microsoft Live@edu over the next three months to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India. The cloud deployment will expand students’ access to high-quality technical education and collaboration. Live@edu will reach to AICTE’s more than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members — roughly double the size of the Los Angeles population — making AICTE Microsoft’s largest cloud customer ever.

  • University of Aberdeen (UK)
  • University of Ulster (Ireland)
  • Ohio State University (USA)
  • Modern School Vasant Vihar New Delhi (India)
  • Shree Chanakya Education Society (SCES), Pune (India)
  • University of Queensland (Australia)
  • The Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM) (Spain)
  • Government of the state of São Paulo, (Brazil)
  • Kentucky Department of Education(USA)
  • Ionis Education Group (France)
  • Canadore College (Canada)
  • Università della Calabria (Italy)
  • Naresuan University (Thailand)
  • National Aviation University (Ukrain)

One of the case study says:

“More than 10,000 schools in more than 130 countries have enrolled in Live@edu, serving tens of millions of students worldwide.”

What are the Pre-Requisites to get Enrolled

  • You must own a domain name for your school/institute
  • K-12 (Kindergarten through grade 12) or higher educational institution, non-profit, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body (Required only for Google Apps Education edition)

Enroll / Sign-Up your school for

Disclaimer: I am NOT associated with Google or Microsoft. Like many of you my only association with Google is as an AdSense Publisher. My only association with Microsoft: I am a MCTS certified MS.NET C# Developer.


Cloud Articles

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

LightSwitch: The Simplest way to Build Business applications for Cloud & Desktop

Good news for .Net developers. Yesterday, August 3rd, Microsoft has announced a new product in the Visual Studio Family – Visual Studio LightSwitch. It looks like LightSwitch is the simplest way to build business applications for the cloud & the desktop. You can start building your application either in C# or Visual Basic. Interestingly you won’t be writing any code for most of the applications as most of the plumbing work has been in-built for you. If you’ve some sophisticated needs you can always write code as the robust VS.Net is available to LightSwitch apps.

A few words about LightSwitch from Microsoft’s official website:


They are also planning to offer a modern looking & touch screen enabled UI and all this by selecting your options from a drop down box. Moreover, LightSwitch has been designed to target the cloud. You can host your Database (on SQL Azure) & application on the Azure cloud without any administrative work.

For a hands-on experience of the product (1st Beta of LightSwitch) you need to wait till August 23rd. I am feeling very excited as it may become a meaningful product using 5G visual language, sort of :-)

Let’s wait & watch…

Quick Refernces