Teaching, Learning, & 25.6 Gigs: Bank Street Goes Google

Over the past year, Bank Street has been diving headlong into new technology projects that support the teaching, learning, and productivity of students, faculty, and staff. The College has seen the creation of a new website, the addition of an online learning system and an expanding selection of online courses, and the installation of interactive eno whiteboards in classrooms.
On Friday, December 2, faculty and staff received an additional tech boost: 25.6 gigs of email storage (roughly 85 times that of the previous system), plus a suite of “cloud-based” apps designed to promote collaboration and creativity—two ideals that are central to everything that happens at Bank Street. 
That boost comes courtesy of Bank Street’s Information Technology department, in collaboration with a little tech company called Google. And the Google Apps for Education suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar, will be available for students as well by mid-January.
Identifying a Need
In September 2010, Bank Street IT surveyed faculty and staff to learn how people were using their existing email system, and to see what they really wanted. The results confirmed what they expected: that it was time for a change.
First, IT discovered that a significant percentage of users frequently hit their mailbox limit, and productivity was taking a hit while individuals worked to create space in their inboxes.
The survey also showed that personal use of systems like Gmail has changed expectations of what technology can and should offer. Many users are becoming more mobile, for example, and rely on their phones and

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