In today’s Link section of Education Guardian , there’s an interesting article on a growing number of schools using Google Apps Education Edition which offers free access to what the article calls “a bundled package of web-based email, calendar and office software originally tailored for business”. The positive aspects of this package are that it’s free, that data is held on Google servers and not the schools and that schools can save much money by using some of the tools such as a word processor, instead of having to buy expensive Microsoft products. So far, so promising. The downside, as this balanced article shows, is that what is free today may not be free tomorrow; that putting all your data eggs in one basket (Google’s) may not be wise and some question the level of future support. So, you pays your money (or not in this case) and you takes your choice.
At the weekend, went for a walk on Tyninghame Beach which is about 6K from Dunbar. This is one of these multi-experience walks, as you start off going through some trees, then walk along a track next to the sand dunes, then on to the beach, then alongs a rocky shore, and finally back through the trees to the car. (Wot? No bike you ask. This was Sunday afternoon after a 40K bike ride at 8am). This is an aural as well as visual experience, with the larks singing above the sand dunes and the you can hear the waves before you see them. There were gannets diving into the sea and shorebirds such as oystercatchers meandering along the beach looking for food. On walks like this, you have to stop, breathe in deeply, feast your eyes and open your ears. You are also safe in assuming that it’s unlikely to be hijacked by Google or Microsoft and day soon.