Editor’s note: Over the past couple months, thousands of businesses have added their Gone Google story to our community map and even more have used the Go Google cloud calculator to test drive life in the cloud. To highlight some of these companies’ Gone Google stories, we decided to talk to Google Apps customers across the United States. Check back each week to see which state we visit next. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map.

This week we head to Maryland where StraighterLine is trying to level the playing field in education. StraighterLine’s mission is to disrupt the high cost of online education courses by directly partnering with colleges and vetting courses through national clearing houses. Joseph Thibault, Course Manager at StraighterLine, shares their story.

When we jumped into the world of online education head-first, our small staff was spread across the US. As a result, we decided to use Google Apps because of its ability to facilitate this virtual office. The ability to share docs, communicate synchronously, and work collaboratively on docs provided us with a quick and easy way to improve courses, our brand and website.

Google Apps has sped up the rate at which we collect information and communicate internally and with students. By using forms in Google Docs we can easily collect survey data from new students to help us focus our marketing efforts. We also use forms to collect course evaluations so that we can improve our courses and services quickly. Creating a form in Docs only takes a few minutes and the summary and charting features allow us to do a quick analysis with just a few clicks.

Gmail has also been a huge benefit to StraighterLine. Students can easily get in touch with us through Gmail and chat, allowing them to get help and continue learning in seconds rather than hours. At StraighterLine we’re happy to say we’ve gone Google!