Nearly one year after Oregon blazed the trail as the first state to bring Google Apps to students and teachers, Rhode Island (the Ocean State) and Missouri (the Show Me State) will begin offering support for Google Apps to K-12 schools and districts across their respective states. Together, they will provide over a million students and over 100,000 teachers with the ability to move to the cloud with Google Apps.

The RISTE organization will help Rhode Island schools who decide to "go Google" with both technical deployment assistance and training opportunities. Paul Barrette, executive board member of RISTE and Director of Technology at the Burrillville School Department, has already moved his district to Google Apps and is excited to offer this service to the other 32 districts in Rhode Island. "Google Apps also integrates very well with a wide variety of handheld and portable devices," Barrette adds, "making it a perfect fit with the ways that teachers and students are now accessing technology."

In Missouri, the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet) – a consortium of schools, public libraries and higher education institutions – will assist K-12 member schools in the adoption and configuration of Google Apps by providing training to administrators, faculty, and staff. MOREnet hopes to help members faced with budget constraints move to Google Apps to reduce IT costs while also improving technology integration in the classroom. As John Gillispie, MOREnet Executive Director explains: “It’s more than just a fiscal decision. Google Apps provides communication and collaboration tools that enhance learning across the curriculum not only in reading and writing, but also in areas like math and science.”

We're excited to welcome Rhode Island and Missouri to the growing Google Apps family, which also includes Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, New York and Oregon.