Google Apps for Education Coming to Moodle

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Google Apps Education Edition is coming to an open source learning management system near you. Moodlerooms, a Moodle partner, is launching a new enhancement to the open source LMS in collaboration with search giant Google to provide access to the application suite using a single sign-on.

Google Apps Education Edition is the widely deployed hosted application suite that includes communications tools like as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk; collaboration apps, such as Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Labs (for software code review); and various administration features and APIs for integration with existing systems.

Through the integration, users loaded into Moodle will be automatically loaded into Google Apps Education Edition, "providing users with Web-based e-mail, document authoring, spreadsheets, presentations and sites, all integrated with their online learning platform," explained Moodlerooms' West Coast Managing Director Michael Penney. "This greatly simplifies the task of implementing a collaborative suite, as well as enables institutions to leverage the work they've already done integrating their platforms with their other systems. From a teacher's perspective, this provides an easy way to assign students to collaborative tasks without having to worry about the students having different operating systems or incompatible software or being unable to access an online system. From an IT staffer or CIO's perspective, this provides an integration tested with large-scale data loads and built on industry standard SAML 2.0 and OAuth protocols for secure single sign on and information transfer."

Google provided funding, direction, guidelines, and certain technologies for the solution, while Moodlerooms handled the coding, according to a Moodlerooms spokesperson.

Two educational organizations are piloting the program before it will be released publicly: Project KNOTtT, a group consisting of universities and colleges from Kansas, Nevada, Ohio, and Texas, and Centro Latino, an adult education organization that provides Spanish-language courses.

Further information can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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