NSW Switches students to gmail….

… and I can’t help but wonder why our education departments are spending millions of dollars providing email accounts to students who can get them for free themselves.

The NSW deal switches from a 30+ Million dollar solution to a ~10 Million dollar solution using Google’s G-Mail, but for what? Why do students need a @theschoolsaddress.com.au type of email, that presumably they will LOSE as soon as they leave school?

I know one local primary school in my area that does this too, and I bet if I asked the principal, I would get a whole bunch of spin about how they are incorporating technology into the curriculum and giving their students a head start and what not. Phooey! My niece, who attends this school, had a G-Mail account before she was started there!

I’m all for schools using technology, but really, why waste all this money? Why not just tell the parents to hook their kids up with G-Mail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail… whatever, and just tell the school what their email address is.

State education departments need to run mail servers for the teachers and administrators, and I would hope they don’t start outsourcing that to offshore operators. That being said, there are plenty of low cost mail options out there for that, and I just can’t see the value in providing the students email, especially when you consider that it increases the back end requirements about 20 times!

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