TechSperience

Transcript of Episode 10 - Google And Microsoft Round 2 - Google and Microsoft Engage Students Wherever and However They Learn Best

March 4, 2020

Episode 10 – Google And Microsoft Round 2 – Google and Microsoft Engage Students Wherever and However They Learn Best

with Penny Conway

 

 

This transcript was first posted on the Connection Community

 

Penny Conway:

Welcome to another episode of Connections TechSperience. I'm your host, Penny Conway, Senior Program Manager for our workplace transformation group. And I am excited to have Ally Condo and Alex DeRossi back in the studio this morning for round two of the battle of Google and Microsoft. Welcome guys.

 

Ally Condo:

Hi.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Hey, thanks for having us.

 

Penny Conway:

I was so excited that you guys are here. We had such a blast last time that you were on. I think maybe Google might've come out of the ring a little less bloody and bruised than Microsoft did in our last round.

 

Ally Condo:

I'm a fighter. I don't know you are taking about. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs). But we are going to be talking about a really cool topic this morning and it's all about distance learning and education and where Google and Microsoft are really playing in that space today. So let's go ahead and set the stage here for a second and talk about the different alternative learning technologies, uh, that are in the classroom today. Because when we really think about what's happening, it's 2019 it's practically the future already like in this very moment.

Penny Conway:

And there's a lot of different reasons why students would be at home and have a need for a distance learning. It could be a special need, it could be a geographical location, it could just be an online school that are popping up all over the place. Connection is lucky enough to have a few of those in our book of business as well. So why don't we go ahead and get started and hear from Alex, why don't we start with you, we let Google take over the last time.

 

Ally Condo:

That's fine. That's fine.

 

Penny Conway:

Why don't we hear from you on really what Microsoft is doing in the space of distance and alternative learning?

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah, thank you. So a lot of it is, you know, like you said, there's so many different ways that kids are learning today. All it is, is there's a ton of options out there. Kids can learn where they learn best and how. So, you have all of these technologies that are constantly connected to not only their classroom, but there are other students and teachers.

 

Alex DeRossi:

With Microsoft, they have things like OneNote and OneNote class notebook where no matter where you are, what you're connected to, right, you're writing and typing in your assignments in real time with your students, with your other classmates, with your teachers, those things are driven by cloud technology. Right? And that's sort of the magic wand behind the scenes is-

 

Ally Condo:

The cloud. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

The cloud. It's really cloudy out there today. (laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs). So it is cloudy out there today.

 

Alex DeRossi:

So that cloud is, is, like I said, it's the magic behind the scenes, right? So with Microsoft, you know, one drive technology and having those things cloud connected with office 365 and Microsoft 365, those draw those things together and pull them together so that things that you're writing, right? You're writing a math assignment in your notebook, your teacher is seeing exactly what you're writing as you're writing.

 

Alex DeRossi:

It can add a note. Even if you're at home, they're in the classroom, those things are happening at the same time. You can see how many students are in your notebook, how many help, you know, and they're helping. They're adding comments. "Oh that's great. I love that. Circle this 97 let's, let's circle back."

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah, that's cool.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You know, so with Microsoft, you know, the one drive technology in the cloud and a magic technology like OneNote for our class, you know, class notebooks those are the, you know, the two main things that are making this work.

 

Penny Conway:

You know, it's really interesting cause I, and Ally, I think you might've talked about this when we first had you guys on where the visibility that a teacher has to see a student working in real time.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

Now it's, it sounds a little creepy when you think about, I'm a student and I'm sitting at home-

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

... and my teacher's sitting at home.

 

Ally Condo:

They're always watching, you know. (laughs) It's like doing your work.

 

Penny Conway:

They're watching me all day long and now they're watching me do my, my homework in real time. But, kind of, what you were talking about last time Ally was, you know, you, you struggled in I think math-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... math was your- Ditto. Really struggled with math. And that if your teacher had maybe had a little more visibility into your actual progress or like your thought process-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

... while you were doing the work, maybe everyone wouldn't have been so-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

... blindsided by your inability to add. (laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

My inability to add (laughs). I'm sure my parents would agree with you though. You know what probably managers to this day would probably still agree with you. (laughs). Yeah, it is one of those things where like, I remember teachers telling me like, well, we'll give you partial credit if you show your work. And it's like, okay, great. Like, you know, I didn't get the right answer, but I showed my work on how I got there and, and those teachers, I always really, I did much better in those types of classes because I was showing what I thought I was supposed to be doing.

 

And they were like, "Well, this is where you didn't do it right." But could you imagine being a student in today's world where, uh, a teacher does say, well, we'll give you partial credit, you know, for showing your work, but they're watching you do your work while you're doing it and they can kind of correct you. Maybe not necessarily always real time because teachers have limited time as well, right?

 

Like we want to respect their time and, and we understand it. Like not every teacher at all times it's going to be like watching over their student. But like, you know, there are times where, especially like a version histories of things where a teacher could look back and look at the version history of somebody's document, especially like in Google classroom or Google docs, those are types of things where within version history, a teacher could go back and say, "Oh, this is where you screwed up."

 

Ally Condo:

"Like, this isn't, I again understand how you got the wrong answer, but like, this is where we should have gotten right." and, and that kinda ties in for me at least like what Alex was saying, what Microsoft offers. Google offers Google classroom, which comes with the, with the Chrome education license soon to be called upgrade. We won't get into that. That will, that's another podcast. (laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

But,yeah, so it's part of the G Suite, uh, offering from Google and G Suite. Much like office 365 is this bigger collaboration tool where students can be within the same document typing together. They can make a slideshow together. They can make an Excel oh, not Excel. Oh, my God. Maybe my people will struggle me. My people are gonna strangle me on that one.

 

Penny Conway:

Uh, I think Microsoft has got a point. (laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

They're probably making Excel, let’s be honest yeah.

 

Ally Condo:

Oh, Excel. That's painful for myself. They're making a Google sheet before it. There we go. (laughs) Got me out of bed so early. So anyways, so they're making Google sheets. They're able to go... And in Google sheets itself. I actually just learned this like yesterday. It's really cool. Within each cell you can go in and see the version history of that cell. So when I say version history, I'm saying like what work has been done from the beginning of that, like the inception of that sheet or that document to its final version of it.

 

Ally Condo:

So every mistake that was made, every edit that was made, you can go back and see what that history was and maybe where somebody, you know, didn't type the right thing or, or idea was really good, but you accidentally deleted it and then you can go back and kind of recoup that. And you can do that within Google sheets as well, but you can do it by cell. So if a person or a student puts in a formula and realizes it's not the right formula, they can go back and they can change it.

 

 

Ally Condo:

But Oh, actually it was the right formula. Like how many times, if we probably all been like right on the first time, and then we, we second guess ourselves and we're like, no, no, no, no, no. That's not how we do it.

 

Penny Conway:

Yeah.

 

Ally Condo:

So you could actually go back and check that version history, which is really beneficial to students because like I said, if you're doing a group project, if somebody put in an idea that you thought maybe didn't flow the first time, but actually it's a really good idea, you can go back or it's the exact opposite, right? Like actually that needed to be deleted. It needed to never be seen by anybody else.

 

Ally Condo:

So we try really hard to make these collaboration tools available to students, especially in these distant learning, environments because it's key for them to feel like they're part of a group that's key for them to feel like they are so part of the classroom and that they still have a voice in this. And we're not saying, you know, every like home, like Alex and I were talking about this for a while, actually trying to come up with this topic, like what would the best fit for all of us be?

 

Ally Condo:

And we were thinking of all of these types of learners. We were thinking about people, not just your typical student, but where are their schools, right? Like we were talking about even prisons where they have GED programs.

 

Penny Conway:

Yeah.

 

Ally Condo:

Where they have different classroom type settings and those are the people too that would benefit from a collaboration with somebody else that's not within their walls with ideas that aren't necessarily next to them, that they're not in that classroom. Learning those things over and over again. They're taking the, the internet, the cloud and, and using it to their own benefit and sometimes having other people to bounce those ideas off of, especially in collaboration tools like G Suite and in classroom. Those are, those are really key functionalities.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah, no, and that, that's a good point. And there's a little, there's a little nugget there out of what she said is that alternative learning and distance learning, the, yeah, it's actually about inclusion, right?

 

Penny Conway:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Alex DeRossi:

Making an inclusive setting for everyone no matter where or how they learn to be involved. Right? And group projects and things like that and make it work.

 

Ally Condo:

Right.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Because no matter your situation, right, wherever you are, you're at home on the couch. You know, your other group mate is, you know, he's, he's sick. He's, he's in the hospital, but he's still getting his work done. You know, catching up on those things or, you know, they're just, they need a little extra time in the classroom right there. They need some specialized learning, whereas they're all in the same document. They're all on the same Excel sheet.

 

Ally Condo:

Good one.

 

Alex DeRossi:

They're all working on the same presentation together at the same time because of these cloud technologies from, from Microsoft and, you know, also from the other company.

 

Ally Condo:

Sure, sure, sure.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You know, that make those things work behind the scenes. (laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

You aren't getting them all in dark yeah. Dug my own grave. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

So yeah, it, it's, we, you know, we're talking distance and alternative learning, but it's really about inclusion of all types of students and how they learn.

 

Penny Conway:

So I think of, you know, maybe eons ago, well I shouldn't say eons ago 'cause there was still the internet. So, couldn't have been that long ago. (laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

More than early 90s.

 

Penny Conway:

But, you know, when I first started college, I was doing a couple of online courses and, my experience as an online learner distance learner at, at that stage of the game was Blackboard.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

I'm sure Blackboard in and of itself has come a long way, but the experience was the teacher posts a, you know, what the syllabus is-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Alex DeRossi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... you know, on the front page and you've got a list of assignments that are on a calendar and then the dreaded message board experience of all time where you have 95 threads. (laughs). So that was, that was truly like a, like a static experience. Like I had to go in and read a message and then I would post a message and absolutely no one would read it or comment.

 

Ally Condo:

Oh, the worst was when you had to... Yeah, the voice was within, you were graded though on your participation on other people's posts.

 

Penny Conway:

Right.

 

Ally Condo:

So you were to wait for those people to post their learnings or whatever. There some people would be like, "I did not read this." And you'd be like, "I have to post on your post you jerk, like can you do it."

 

Penny Conway:

Right. And there's no, like there was nothing in real time.

 

Ally Condo:

Right.

 

Penny Conway:

There was no notification. There is no, yeah-

 

Ally Condo:

You have to constantly check it.

 

Penny Conway:

Constantly check it.

 

Ally Condo:

It’s awful.

 

Penny Conway:

So looking at that experience, if you were to parallel, parallel that to what students are doing today, what's the experience look like for that college student that now is needing to have that real time collaboration? They're all very, you know, I think one of the largest online schools right now is based right here in New Hampshire.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

Yy alma mater.

 

Ally Condo:

Oh, no kidding.

 

Penny Conway:

Yeah. But that's a whole, they're one of the biggest online schools. And when you talk to somebody that goes, uses their online program, they truly feel like they're a part-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... of the school now versus being on a message board in the wild, wild West-

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

... and, you know, seeing things blow in the wind, pass them and wait for people to talk. So what's the experience look like for a student? How real is it? Like that real time collaboration? What's that look like?

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah. And I can tell you this both from professional and personal experience. 'Cause I, I'm taking online MBA classes right now-

 

Penny Conway:

Oh, you fancy that.

 

Alex DeRossi:

... and, and I, you know, I remember going to my dad and be like, "Dad, I'm gonna take some, some, I'm going to get my MBA but it's going to be online." And he's like, "Well, you know, they had that one in my day too. It was called mail correspondence."

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

Like they sent you a packet and you filled out the assignments and then you mailed them back in and then they would grade them and mail them back to you. And that's, that's-

 

Ally Condo:

Depends on my speed.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah. And that's how that system was built. That's how you got to a place of message boards and things like that because they're saying, how do we take this mail correspondence system and make it digital, right? But now where we're at is with, you know, say for example like one of my favorite new Microsoft technologies, Microsoft teams, right?

 

Alex DeRossi:

With Microsoft teams, my whole class can be in a team, my professor can be in there, my co group mates, whatever assignment that we're working on. And in one place, we're chatting with each other, we're chatting with the teacher, we're posting files, we're working on the same files, it's hosting all of our files for us. So, in a single program, in a single app, I have everything that I need about the school and about that class right in front of me and it all happens together.

 

Penny Conway:

What about video?

 

Alex DeRossi:

Video chat, right? Yeah, right there. So if I need to talk face to face, to a person-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah, that's cool.

 

Alex DeRossi:

... do an interview about an assignment or, you know, grab, grab two seconds of them and say, "Hey, you know, I saw this, this was really good. I think we could change it. What do you think? How, how was this look?"

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You know, I don't even leave that app, right? I just hit them. I call them, they're on my team. Choose another name, go through, "Hey, how does this look?" Right. So.

 

Penny Conway:

You know, it's, I remember seeing a little while ago there was, I forget the actual name of it, but it's like a virtual field trip. I, Students now are so lucky. And when I say this, I'm thinking back to what you just said with your dad doing mail correspondence and then I'm complaining about the Blackboard system-

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

And that was probably the future, like how would have alone his mind. But like I'm, I'm amazed when I see what students can do with video chat alone.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

I know Microsoft for example, I think was doing the virtual field trips where they were connecting with students. It was like, you might remember the name Alex, but it was like, where in the world are these students? And they were connecting via, via Skype to ask the student questions. It was automatically translating-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yep.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah, that's cool.

 

Penny Conway:

... into another language and like students don't have this like distance barrier anymore-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

... that used to exist when your dad was doing mail correspondence.

 

Alex DeRossi:

That's right.

 

Ally Condo:

I think that you just hit the nail on the head, the word barrier, right? Like we're really trying to blow down those barriers. Just knock them down everywhere we can because there's no reason that every student shouldn't be able to go on a field trip or from no matter where they are. Right? Like you were just saying what Microsoft had right? Like Google has the exploration kits for virtual reality where you can put on those goggles, you can put on that headset, you can see where you're going, you can touch, you can, you know, explore the natural mute, natural history museum and you can see dinosaurs.

 

Ally Condo:

You can see all of these things and you don't have to be, I mean, is it cool to go on those field trips? Like, yes, obviously.

 

Penny Conway:

Well, show me, show me a field trip. You can go on where you can actually see dinosaurs. (laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

Well, all right.

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

I will sign up for that.

 

Penny Conway:

But you're right.

 

Ally Condo:

But it's, it's this piece that I think, I don't necessarily think it's, but our generation really missed out on. I think we were able to do a lot of these things without having the cloud or having internet at our fingertips. But it was emerging when we were younger and we got to see glimpses of it. And now these kids that are coming up, they, they get to do so much more and they get to be educated in so much more.

 

Ally Condo:

And like what we were talking about are real time, you know, collaboration, real time posts like what we weren't able to have with Blackboard. She sure like people from Blackboard are so pumped up we're talking about the harm greenhouse here and I'm like, "yeah." but you know, Google has Google classroom that within that Google classroom, every virtual classroom has its own live stream.

 

Ally Condo:

So much like a team situation for Microsoft, you can go in there and you can post on, on your classroom stream, "Hey, like did anybody see the homework? I missed it." "Hey, did anybody get this research?" "I was just able to do that." You can post YouTube videos, you can share with your classroom, classmates in real time and you don't have to be right next to each other. And the glory of that is that people are able to work together so much more seamlessly and then they can, they can get on Google Hangouts, they can, they can call, they can video chat with their people, they can just chat with each other to try to figure things out.

 

Ally Condo:

They can assign things to each other within their documents. And, And especially if they're in a group setting rate group projects are like the bane, I think of like every kid's existence where they're just like, "No, don't do it. Don't make it a group project." Because there's that one kid who always feels like-

 

Penny Conway:

Ally, life is a group.

 

Ally Condo:

But it is. It's very-

 

Alex DeRossi:

I love group projects.

 

Penny Conway:

That's oh, my God what a lie?

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs). Those were my favorite.

 

Ally Condo:

By it, you know, it gives one, it gives credit where credit's due, but it also allows maybe those people who, those students specifically who are not big participators, those other kids can assign it to them and be like, "Nope dude this is on you. Like, we did our part." So not necessarily making it like a blame game but, making sure that everybody participates in the way that they're supposed to participate.

 

Ally Condo:

And I think by students helping other students do that, everyone gets a better education out of the experience. So it is really cool how we're making things much more inclusive as we grow. And I think things are gonna continue to grow.

 

Alex DeRossi:

I think, you know, as a, as a great example of what we're talking about, to think about the, you know, the one thing that no matter what level of student you are, you always dread his exams, right?

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Think of exams five, five to ten years ago was a piece of paper document, right? That, you know-

 

Ally Condo:

Scantron.

 

Alex DeRossi:

... right. Maybe it has a scantron, right? I think you can use pens on those now.

 

Ally Condo:

Big improvement. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah. (laughs). So you take an exam, right? What does an exam look like in 2019, it's a link to a website, right?

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You know, in the example of a Microsoft education student devices, right? You know, those great student devices that are everyone's favorite that have windows 10 on them.

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Or the ones that have Google OS and Chrome OS, make everything really secure. They have TPM chips anyway.

 

Alex DeRossi:

It's a feature of windows 10 student devices that it has a test taking mode built right into windows 10, right? Where all your teacher has to do are all your IT folks has to do is take that link to that website where your exam is and put it into a page and it creates a separate account for test taking so that way the student can just log onto their device. There's a new account showing, so it will be their account on one side and a test taking account on the other.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Alex DeRossi:

They click their account, it locks down the device. So the only thing they have access to is that exam.

 

Ally Condo:

So I have a question for you 'cause that's interesting.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah, absolutely.

 

Ally Condo:

'Cause we have Google forms and we can make a form and we can make it into a quiz. You can lock it within the Chrome device so that the student can only log in to their form. They can only take their test.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Ally Condo:

It's a really nice feature benefit. I'm just going to say that, but I have a question for you because Google just came out with the grading rubric where it will automatically grade the test for the teacher. Is that the same for Microsoft ability to do that?

 

Alex DeRossi:

So two different things there, right? You've got two different options. Windows 10 is all about options, right?

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

Oh, my God Alex. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

Right?

 

Ally Condo:

Just slide that one in there my friends, all right. You really taking advantage of my 5:00 AM wake up calls.

 

Alex DeRossi:

If you ask me like what is the one thing about windows that's like an advantage is options, right? You have options to do what you want, how you want it, and in that case of what you're asking about Microsoft forms, right? Oh, big name change. Microsoft forms does exactly what you're, what you're saying, right?

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah. I'm a helpful partner in that one. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

You can create an online form, you can have it automatically grade. It'll even take, collect all the results for you directly into Excel document. You click one button, you get that Excel form.

 

Ally Condo:

Okay but that's different than the URL link that you were talking about.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Different than take a test mode that's built into the device-

 

Ally Condo:

Okay.

 

Alex DeRossi:

... that's built in. It's a feature of windows 10.

 

Ally Condo:

Start talking directly into your microphone Alex. We're having a real hard time here. Last time I was bumping and constantly, can you talk right into it?

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

I'm trying to, I'm trying to face people when I talk to them.

 

Ally Condo:

I you are, this is not the right mic for you to answer. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs). So yeah, no. In the world of Microsoft, those are two different technologies.

 

Penny Conway:

So I wanna, I wanna kind of walk through a day in the life of a student for both Microsoft and Google or mixed 'cause it's the schools we know-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... and a little bit of Apple is probably sprinkled in there as well. You know, I figure if we're going to give Blackboard a plug, we'll give, uh, Apple a plug to.

 

Ally Condo:

April.

 

Penny Conway:

April. (laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

We'll give April a blog.

 

Penny Conway:

But I want to, I want to look at this from two different ways 'cause we talk a lot about, you know, all of these great solutions, these collaboration tools and windows devices and Chromebooks and things like that. But not every school can take advantage of everything. For example, I was at a school a couple of months ago doing a career day here in New Hampshire-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... and they were the lowest income level in the state, that particular middle school. So they don't have a device in every student's hand. Those kids don't have the internet at home guaranteed. So let's start with the kind of basic low income sort of school. And what the tools, what a day in the life would look like for that student and the tools that they might be able to take advantage of. And then let's go all the way up the stack and everything, you know, that a student could take advantage of in a more affluent area.

 

Ally Condo:

Sure. So I'll start. So especially in that kind of scenario, right? Like Google and Chrome try really hard to be really cognizant of the types of schools that we're trying to get these devices into. So, we do offer a wide range, especially of devices so that even schools who don't have a huge budget can at least get a few of these devices in hand and not hopefully exhausted their, their budget for technology in one go.

 

We try to make it so that it is affordable. And within that education license, that is a perpetual license that you purchase to, to enable the management and to enable the, the security pieces and the, bringing it from a consumer model to an education level. Within that you get G Suite for the classroom. So it makes it easier and it makes it more affordable for school systems like that, that are on the lower income spectrum to take advantage of what we've been talking about this whole podcast, right? We want them to be able to be collaborative.

 

We want them to be able to have these experiences that every kid should be able to have. And you know, I use kid loosely cause it should be kids who are preschools to seniors in high school. They should be able to take advantage of these things. College I think is still very much a privilege and it's expensive and no matter where you go, you're, you're gonna have to have a device.

 

But even if you don't have a device, there's a library with devices, right? And we wanna make that accessible to everybody. In the K through 12 world. So we're making an affordable, those perpetual licenses, they live and die with the life of the device. So one license per device. And like I said, G Suite for education is free. So they're able to get those collaborative pieces within that $30 license at Matt's MSRP.

 

Right? So that's treat price, $30 a license per device. But you were talking about like what does it look like if they go home and they don't have wireless? Well, even if they're using a shared device, right? Maybe not every kid gets a device, but if that kid, one kid, right, is in charge of doing the presentation for the next day, they can bring their device home and they can work offline so they can make that device, you know, they can make that document.

 

They can make whatever they're doing when they're in the classroom, when they're on a network, when they're on wifi or when they're plugged into ethernet even if that's a thing that has to happen. That doesn't-

 

Penny Conway:

I don't know Ally, do you Chromebooks have Ethernet plug?

 

Ally Condo:

They have dongles.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Add extra attachments, extra attachment. Added on top of that $30 license. Now it's a $35 license.

 

Ally Condo:

Digging myself in.

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

Anyway, good dig. This is like a really great one. Oh, you got a check mark for that. (laughs). But we, you know, if they're bringing that, that device home with those documents on it, they're able to work offline. And the minute that they come back and it's the school system and they connect to that network, those, those documents automatically sync all the changes that they did at their house.

 

So they're able to have all of this offline work uploaded automatically and they don't have to worry about, "Oh, I'm not online. I'm not able to make any of these changes." And any kid is going to use any excuse that they can to not have to do their work when they get home. This isn't one of them. Just because you're not online doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of doing your work.

 

I just like for example, yesterday was flying home from Chicago and knew that I needed to like get stuff together for this podcast. I needed to finish up a presentation. I needed to do a couple of things before I left my network. I need everything available offline and I did all of my work on the plane because wifi is not reliable on a plane. And when I got home last night, I connected to my wifi and all of my changes were uploaded automatically. They were sinking to everything, but I was doing.

 

So that that goes for emails being sent. You know, if a student needs to send an email to their teacher and they're not online, they can make that email, they can send it in. As soon as they get onto a network, it'll send for them.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You know, I, I think listening to that too, there, even there is a certain level of, of assumption of where schools are at. Right? And even if devices are affordable and their licenses are affordable-

 

Ally Condo:

They are.

 

Alex DeRossi:

... then, you know, that's, that's still not realistic in some schools. Right? Like you said, the lowest income level in the area. Right? So for a school like that, even affordable devices may not be in the budget. Right? So one thing that Microsoft offers in the education space is the ability to leverage some of these technologies, even if you don't have any devices. Because I remember what my middle school was like or what my el-elementary school was like.

 

We had one room in the school that had computers.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Alex DeRossi:

It was the computer lab; it was the typing room.

 

Ally Condo:

Yep. The type, the typing room.

 

Alex DeRossi:

The typing room.

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

Alex DeRossi:

I'm sure it had typewriters before that. So with that, you know, you have a couple pieces of technology from Microsoft, like we alluded to earlier, called Skype in the classroom where say only, the only person in the room that has a devices is the teacher. Well the teacher can just plug that into their existing projector and have a Skype session with another country, uh, somewhere around the world.

 

It's called mystery Skype. So the kids jump on, they see another-

 

Ally Condo:

They don't know who they're talking to?

 

Penny Conway:

That's the game.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Correct.

 

Penny Conway:

They try to figure it out.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah. So they're, they're there.

 

Ally Condo:

Oh, it's a game? I'm so confused by this.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah.

 

Ally Condo:

I'm tired.

 

Penny Conway:

That's because Google doesn't have it.

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

I'm sorry. [crosstalk 00:29:21].

 

Alex DeRossi:

So, the way that mystery Skype-

 

Ally Condo:

I feel like this also costs money.

 

Alex DeRossi:

It does not cost any money.

 

Ally Condo:

No. But you're like Skype license does, doesn't it?

 

Alex DeRossi:

It does not.

 

Penny Conway:

It doesn't.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah. Ed-education.microsoft.com you go and sign up for free.

 

Ally Condo:

Anything for G Suite for education.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah. And you can do mystery Skype with your classroom. Right? So you, you can't, maybe you can't get to, you know, the nearest school to hang out with other kids and, and encourage that collaboration interaction. So the way mystery Skype works is our classroom would go on. So say if we were a classroom, we'd see another group of kids and we'd ask them questions to try to figure out where they are. Right?

 

Oh are you in the Southern hemisphere? Is it hot there? Is it cold there? And eventually what you get down to is, you know, one of the, one of the classes we'll figure out where the other one is in the world. And then you have that instant connection, right? You can connect with them again. When you go on the Microsoft educators site, you can see how many Skype teachers are on, where they're located and you can see who they're available to connect to for virtual field trip.

 

Ally Condo:

Sure but... That is cool. That is cool. But are those also available offline?

 

Penny Conway:

Well-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Well Skype isn't.

 

Penny Conway:

No. You need to be able-

 

Ally Condo:

Sounds like Google, yeah, Google Hangouts I understand that. But like G Suite for education, all those collaboration tools and all of those things that you would need on a day to day basis. Like are you doing Skype, like the mystery call every single day?

 

Alex DeRossi:

I mean, you could if you wanted to. There's, there's 1000 of educators on there and that site that are always available. You know, and on the plus side-

 

Ally Condo:

It is cool. I'm not gonna, I won't, I as much as I'm like-

 

Penny Conway:

I, Ally, I see where you're going like-

 

Ally Condo:

What do you mean? You look as much as-

 

Penny Conway:

So if you're comparing apples to apples-

 

Ally Condo:

Right.

 

Penny Conway:

... Alex, if you're looking at just the basic Microsoft education suite of products, those are those things available offline, like the sheets, the mail, the OneNote, things like that?

 

Alex DeRossi:

There are some portions of it that are available offline and they'll sync changes just like Google will.

 

Penny Conway:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Alex DeRossi:

If you're, if you're connected and you're typing in a document, it'll role up the next time you're connected. But where I think of that is, is, you know, you have that one, one desktop in the classroom or that one computer, right?

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah. Yeah. You're making a point yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

As where you're even affordability of devices is not enough. Right?

 

Ally Condo:

First right.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You, you're getting to that. So-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

... with, you know, three office 365 education with, you know, teachers available to use Skype in the classroom, you know, those, those things are available at any level with any number of devices.

 

Penny Conway:

And so I wanna, I wanna pause here and kind of point something out 'cause this is, this is interesting and the, the first time you guys were on with me, it was all about how these products can work together in the classroom. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

Because knowing what I know and what I've learned from you guys, your solutions are very similar.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

And even at the price point, your solutions are very similar. I think each of you has these unique pieces that can really compliment the other solution.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

And I think what Alex is talking about with the virtual classroom, that is a really big complimentary piece-

 

Ally Condo:

For sure.

 

Penny Conway:

... that maybe a Google classroom today could take advantage of. Because I've actually seen this live and actually a little behind the scenes here. Alex and I used to work together in Microsoft education-

 

Alex DeRossi:

That's right.

 

Penny Conway:

But it was a really, um.

 

Ally Condo:

Nobody could tell (laughs) nobody knew. Ganging up on me this morning. Nobody would know the funnies to work with Microsoft.

 

Penny Conway:

But it was, it's a, it was a really neat tool though to not only have that, the kids interaction between countries like for geography classes and things like that. But when you look at like, so say Ally, the school that I was in a few, a few months ago, they had a cart full of devices and Chromebooks and the teacher had a windows laptop. That is a common scenario that we've seen in the classroom.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

And so those students aren't on it all the time. It's just when they have a project or a test that they need to do.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

But that teacher said, you know, these kids, they don't go anywhere. They don't see anything, they don't do any of that. And so that, along with the seeing kids in other countries, there's field trips-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Yep.

 

Penny Conway:

... there's teachers like there's, they have authors on there, right? Like that bunch of different people-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Absolutely.

 

Penny Conway:

... that can get into the classroom and give those students an experience that they wouldn't be able to have outside of technology.

 

Ally Condo:

And I think that you hit the nail on the head when you called it a tool. These are tools. We're, we're building a toolbox for educators. We're building, you know, a foundation for a bigger classroom to be built on. So what I mean by that is, you know, like in a perfect world, everything is in the cloud, right? Like every minute of every day, we're talking about how students could be online.

 

They're, they're sharing documents, they're doing all this stuff. When you watch a commercial online, like on TV, like, yeah, that's, that's what they're doing. Like everybody's doing everything. But in the real world, uh, a teacher has a really big part in the day and they're giving real life, you know, live, you know, conversations with their students. They're, they're doing hands on activities.

 

They're having this bigger role in the day than it might seem like we're talking about. Right? The benefits of having either of our solutions in the classroom is that they can collaborate with each other and you can use Google and you can use chromo OS for some of those security pieces for some of those test taking in that rubric. And, you know, some of these pieces for state testing that, you know, we know that, that's one of the biggest reasons why Chrome came into the, to the pieces-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Ally Condo:

... because testing needed a new platform and that was what it was going to work on.

 

Penny Conway:

Yeah.

 

Ally Condo:

But it would be silly to, for me to ignore the fact that yes, that, that Skype piece is really cool-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Ally Condo:

... and that, you know, in a lower income school district, it, it could be that they're, they're sharing Chrome devices, but to get their real world knowledge, they're using Skype, they're, they're using some of these other virtual reality pieces and, and it can all work together. We're just building that tool box.

 

Penny Conway:

So our goal here, or your goal here at Connection really is to bring this all together for schools-

 

Alex DeRossi:

Absolutely.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah, yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

... from the-

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

... the low income to the, they've got a budget that they don't even know how to spend it all.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Right.

 

Penny Conway:

We have met those schools before. What are we, you know, how can we help? How can you guys help? How can your teams help, you know, we've got the, the, the topic we've covered today is really, I mean, we, we started with distance learning, but I think you guys really brought it full circle in that the tools and the tool kits and all of that and within your solutions can be happening in the classroom at home-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... in another country and coming all together. So, uh, Mic, let's start with Microsoft.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Sure.

 

Penny Conway:

Why don't you tell us what, how your team can help bring all these things together and then Ally will give you a chance to talk about Google.

 

Ally Condo:

Sure.

 

Alex DeRossi:

So he, you know, here at Connection we not only have the dedicated account managers that can help you, you know, find, find out what solutions are best for your school. But we also have a dedicated Microsoft education team to help. We can get right on the phone with you. We can help explain things to you, tell you about things that you may not know about. And if you tell us what experience you're trying to have in your classroom, we'll get you set up with the right technology to do that.

 

Alex DeRossi:

You know, and my favorite thing that my team says here is that with windows 10 and in education you can do more, right? One of my favorite things about Google, right? Follow me on this. My favorite thing about Google, you can do all that stuff in the Chrome browser.

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Alex DeRossi:

Guess what? You can install a Chrome browser on any windows 10 device.

 

Ally Condo:

(laughs).

 

Penny Conway:

(laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

So you don't have to choose between the two. If you get your school and your students windows, windows 10 devices, you can have the Chrome browser on there. Still leverage all of those great Chrome functionalities. But also do more with all the windows, things like Skype that we talked about. So in my opinion, you know that's, that's one thing that, that our team will help you with and help you decide on is, is to get the right resources for your school and no matter what the solution.

 

Penny Conway:

Awesome. Ally.

 

Ally Condo:

And I, yeah, you're not too far off from what I was gonna say.

 

Penny Conway:

Ideally they should do the same. (laughs).

 

Alex DeRossi:

You're welcome. Yeah.

 

Ally Condo:

They're very similar.

 

Penny Conway:

I think the, the uniqueness, not though the, in all seriousness that you guys really bring together is that you clearly are working together.

 

Ally Condo:

We are, we are.

 

Penny Conway:

You're finding where your solutions complement each other, where they overlap. And I think that that is a huge asset to the schools that you deal with-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... every single day is that Alex can say, "Oh, you know, you have a certain price point that maybe we can't meet here or maybe you have a need that we can't meet. I am working very closely with Google and vice versa." Now you can say, "Hey, Microsoft has virtual field trip."

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

 

Alex DeRossi:

(laughs).

 

Ally Condo:

And we're here, you know, we're here to help build that solution for the customer. And we understand that there are gonna be questions, there are gonna be concerns, there are gonna be just general confusion, right? Like what's the difference? Why are we, why we as competitors are working so closely together. But like what Alex was saying about how you can install Chrome on, on any computer, right?

 

You can, and it's because of that security piece. It's because of the sand boxing. It's because of all these things that we talked about in the last podcast. But kind of the reverse of that, if you're using web based applications only in a school or only as, you know, on student devices, it makes more sense sometimes from a budget perspective to get that Chrome device. And to put I, you know, again, I'm gonna be like strangled for this, but to put your, your office 365 if that's what they're using, then you can use it on a Chrome device because it just needs a browser.

 

And if you're gonna put Chrome on a, on a windows device, it's because it's so secure. So there are some of these pieces that all kind of linked together like a puzzle piece and, and we want to help you, you really like find the edges and fill in the middle of that puzzle.

 

Penny Conway:

Great. So, the message is don't go it alone in your K through 12 classroom-

 

Alex DeRossi:

That's right, yeah.

 

Penny Conway:

... whether you have distance learners, whether you have a classroom full of students-

 

Ally Condo:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Penny Conway:

... or you have both cause I very real scenario. Visit connection.com and you can acquaint yourselves with the Microsoft and the Google team and they look forward to helping you kind of make the best out of both worlds. Thank you again guys. I think that's around might go to Microsoft. We'll see.

 

Ally Condo:

Yeah, I'll give that one up too.

 

Penny Conway:

You know, I might be selfishly saying that so we can have a round three and see who wins.

 

Ally Condo:

I need to have like another host that's Google okay? That's what really needs to happen here.

 

Penny Conway:

All right. Thanks, so much guys for coming.

 

Ally Condo:

Thanks guys.

 

Penny Conway:

And great talking as always.

 

Alex DeRossi:

Thank you.

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