Before Google Apps, we didn’t have any technology at the school to help the students. We were looking at [another solution] and it quickly became apparent that Google Apps was far more intuitive to use -- and it was free.
Colegio Banting faced the challenge of preparing students from all walks of life -- many lacking the means to pay for an education -- to compete for entry into the best universities in the world. Prior to adopting Google Apps in 2013, Colegio Banting had no formal IT system or department. Students didn’t even have email, and their teachers couldn’t reach them outside of school hours. Faculty and staff were using their personal email addresses. They set out to find affordable, high-quality, easy-to-use devices and collaborative tools that students could use both on campus and at home. They needed a single platform that would allow students, teachers, parents and administrators to easily access shared information. In doing so, they would improve students’ access to learning and help familiarize them with technology, even if they didn’t have access to a computer at home.
Colegio Banting decided to go with Google Apps for Education so that it could centralize lessons, assignments and announcements in one online environment, accessible from anywhere. In 2013, administrative staff began using free Gmail accounts, then decided to roll out Google Apps for Education to all teachers and students because of how well Google’s services were already working. In 2014, Colegio Banting began using Google Classroom as a virtual class to help students, teachers and parents keep track of homework assignments and announcements in a single dashboard. Also in 2014, Colegio Banting invested in 20 Chromebooks to better arm students with the tools they need to develop real-world skills. The school plans to expand the Chromebook program with a device for every student by 2020.