The number of higher education institutions (HEIs) moving their student email (and, in many cases, staff email) to a cloud solution continues to grow. Every other day there is a new report one one HEI or other adopting either Google or Microsoft. Intrinsically I am not against this although I do find it interesting how little debate there is about integrating so completely with such overtly commercial companies. By the way, let’s not kid ourselves that that Google are any less of a ruthless corporate entity than Microsoft or Apple or Oracle or any large IT company.
I was discussing the problem of creating a broader adoption of educational technologies across the university with colleagues when they told me that 50% of the people they have to deal with are employed casually. It was therefore difficult to provide adequate functional and pedagogical training to such staff who were, typically, only employed to do specific teaching activities. I countered with suggestion that course (subject or units at other universities) coordinators would not be employed casually at that they would be able to direct casual staff within the context of online delivery. My colleagues made the observation that quite often course coordinators were in fact themselves often employed on a casual basis.