Pupils in the clouds: Implementation of Google Apps for Education

Maria Lindh, Jan Nolin, Karen Nowe Hedvall

Abstract


The study focuses on the implications of affordances identified in Google Apps for Education (GAFE), by strategic staff within a Swedish school organisation, with responsibility for schools in around 30 municipalities. A complex picture emerged, where GAFE was perceived both as a neutral, well-functioning tool and as a means of educating in partly new ways. Furthermore, the study shows that GAFE, despite its characteristic of being a non-generative appliance, still can be used in creative ways. The implementation of cloud technology, such as GAFE, endorses a tunnel-vision affordance that downgrades more nuanced perceptions of the different technological, economical, and ethical aspects of the technology. Studying GAFE, different tensions of power emerge: Google vs. the school, IT professionals vs. teachers, management vs. teachers, teachers vs. pupils, Google vs. pupils.


Keywords


Google Apps for Education; affordance; tunnel-vision affordance; cloud computing; tethered appliances

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v21i4.6185



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