It’s easy to think of the needs for education enterprise environments as being pretty minimal. Other than email and some collaboration tools, what could educators really need?
Sometimes, you don’t know how much you need something until it’s gone.
For instance, many GroupWise users say one of the reasons they’ll never move to another platform is how frequently they use email tracking and silent retraction. Once users realize how many “pet features” they use on a daily basis, especially in education environments, it’s hard to take other solutions seriously as viable options.
Imagine how important it would be to know whether your students had actually seen the instructions for an upcoming assignment. GroupWise’s email tracking makes students accountable for their learning, enabling teachers to better know which students are reading their emails. Email tracking also helps higher education IT professionals track which users don’t know how to access their accounts.
Silent retraction is just as useful in education environments. Did you forget to include information about an assignment? You can silently retract the previous email, add the additional information, and then resend it. This feature is highly used for inter-office communication, too.
These two “pet features” aren’t the only advantage our enterprise-oriented solutions offer education environment. Here are some other benefits of choosing an enterprise-oriented solution for educational collaboration.
Convincing students to collaborate can be hard enough. Eliminating technological hurdles to group work helps make this process a bit easier.
Students in K-12 environments love collaborating through Vibe. (See our Classroom Workspace demo to learn more.) However, kids will be kids. Shared live editing (such as that offered by Google Docs) makes writing over another student’s work simply too tempting to pass up.
Vibe’s approach is to allow multiple edits rather than shared live editing. This gives the project owner (in this case, a teacher) control over which edits actually make it to the final document. Thus, collaboration in schools becomes productive instead of frustrating.
It’s no wonder K-12 educators love Novell.
One of the most important reasons educators need to choose an enterprise-oriented solution is protecting secure information. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires sensitive student information, including grades and directory information, be carefully stored and only shared with legally-authorized individuals. Naturally, ensuring this information stays in the right hands
Unfortunately, recent hacks have shown the importance of data security for all organizations, not just governments or mega-corporations. If sensitive information is stolen and released, the organization (for example, a higher education institution) could potentially be held responsible.
Full-disk encryption (such as that offered by ZENworks) helps protect educators from malicious cyber attacks, keeping student data safe.
While “free” solutions for higher education collaboration seem appealing, the truth is educators give up a lot of control and ownership over their data with these solutions. Anytime data is hosted on someone else’s servers (such as in cloud computing environments), there’s an inherent security risk.
Plus, the costs of migrating to a new solution (such as the thousands of hours needed for new solution training) make “free” actually quite expensive.
Finally, a full-featured enterprise solution allows educators to have the high-quality, feature-rich tools needed to properly collaborate with students, co-workers, and others.
Don’t sell your students short. The security and data encryption features alone make Novell’s enterprise solutions ideal for education environments. Add Vibe and GroupWise (a perfect combo for student group work), and educators have a secure, safe solution for their enterprise collaboration needs.
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