September was a big month for Google Apps Education Edition as everyone headed back to school. When we announced five million active users in early September, we didn't expect that it would only be about a month before we would announce that more than six million students, staff, and faculty at schools worldwide are now actively using Google Apps at school.

We talk a lot about what students want and need (and we also try to learn from them as much as possible), but it's important to remember that these six million users aren't only students – they are also faculty and staff members using Google Apps technology in education.

The cloud is all about collaboration, and this means not only students working together, but also students working with their teachers and professors to improve learning outcomes and save time. Using internet-based solutions like Google Apps to enhance the cycle of lesson, evaluation, and adjustment can shorten what used to take days or weeks into minutes, and collaborating in the cloud helps educators connect more effectively with students.

There are lots of examples we're seeing crop up on campuses. For example New York City's Intermediate School 339 ensured clear communication between students, teachers, and the community by moving the entire campus to Google Apps, and taking advantage of features like forms in Google Docs to create real-time quizzes helped to double Math performance scores, increase attendance, and build student engagement.

And, after Boise State University migrated their 2,400 faculty and staff to Google Apps, not only were they able to foster better collaboration between students and staff, but they reduced costs for IT infrastructure, support, and maintenance by $90,000 annually.

Other schools that have chosen Google Apps for their faculty and staff include Temple University, Columbus State University, Abilene Christian University,
Macalester College, Manhattan College, Mary Baldwin College, Northeastern State University, and Saint Louis University (including 8,500 staff from their Medical Center and Hospital).

We strongly believe that when all education users - from students to professors to school administrators - have access to cloud-based tools and aren't limited by where or when they work, it enhances their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively. So come on, Go Google and join these schools (and many others) in the cloud with Google Apps.

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps Education Edition team

Learn more about what's possible for your school with Google Apps Education Edition.