Malaysia adopts Google Apps, Chromebooks for education

Malaysia adopts Google Apps, Chromebooks for education

Summary: The move is part of a national plan to reform its education system through Web usage, and Google says Chromebooks will bring both user friendliness and cost savings to the country.

Malaysia has adopted Google apps for 10 millions students, teachers and parents, while primary and secondary school students will receive Chromebooks.

Malaysia has adopted Google Apps and Chromebooks as part of the country's plans to integrate Web usage in a bid to reform its education system.

According to a blog post by the search giant on Wednesday, Malaysia adopted Google Apps for 10 million of its students, teachers and parents. In addition, primary and secondary schools will receive Chromebooks.

Malaysia's "Education Blueprint 2013-2025" released in September last year, is aimed at revolutionizing its education system through the integration of Web usage, Felix Lin, director of product management at Google, who wrote the blog post noted.

He added Malaysia's efforts to upgrade its educational system was not easy. To deploy technology across the country, computers needed to be simple, manageable and secure, which was reflective in Google Chromebook, Lin noted.

The Chromebooks were also a "cost-efficient option" at scale, in addition to being easy to setup and secure, he added. Citing a study conducted by research firm IDC, Google learned Chromebooks would yield three-year cost of ownership savings of US$1,135 for each computer, required 69 percent less hours to deploy and 92 percent fewer hours to manage.

Malaysia's announcement is also indicative of a movement by school systems to recognize the power of Web in education, Lin said. Another Asian country, the Philippines, had also "Gone Google" with the country's Department of Education moving its systems to the cloud with Google Apps for Education, he pointed out.

"The Web gives our children and students new opportunities to access the world’s information and work collaboratively," Lin said. "We look forward to working with national and regional leaders to make the most of the Web with Google Apps and Chromebooks and help them provide the best opportunities to every student."

Topics: Education, Apps, Google, Malaysia

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • I know

    Kudos Malaysi


    It's hard, get over it :(

    Great article Ellyne.
    • I bought my sister one.

      I bought my sister one because these things are perfect for school! They have offline access to Google docs, plenty of plug-ins and plenty of other native apps to assist the student.
    • Bribed politicians

      And those growing up using Chrome Books and toy apps are pretty much useless in the job market.

      US$1,135 for each computer for just 3 years, what an utter waste of money.
  • Chromebooks, Interesting; Google Apps, Less So

    Chromebooks seem to be enjoying quiet success on many fronts, regardless of the naysayers. My worry about Google Apps is the same as for any proprietary software: will your data end up being trapped by the vendor?
    • This is definitely a major problem with Microsoft and Apple products......

      .....where your data is effectively trapped into Microsoft's proprietary file formats or Apple's walled garden. That is the whole basis of Microsoft and Apple's business models.

      However, it is not a problem with Google, who use open standards and formats and allow you to easily take out or delete all your data at any time in open formats.
  • Poor Asians got $croogled

    Millions of them are now under CIA's watch thanks to ChromeSpy book.
  • Malaysia has always led the world in open source initiatives

    Malaysia has spent the last decade and a half on open document and open source issues and once again, they're leading the way for the next big thing in computing. If only the US could catch up to the likes of Malaysia and Brazil!
    • Malaysian policitcans are a joke

      Corruption is widespread in Malaysia and no wonder Google managed to sell these useless devices.
      • Not sure...

        Not sure if that is a helpful statement, but the fact remains that Google has just been able to gain "10 million" (data sources consisting of Malaysian "students, teachers and parents") as a part of this deal.
        • Malaysians, getting scroogled.

          Paying $1200 for 3 year for each computer is a huge sum for malaysia, and all it runs a silly web browser and some fart apps.
          • Learn to read

            Learn to read numnutz, it's a cost savings of $1,135.00 per device over three years.

            How many devices are going to be deployed in Malaysia? 1 for every 10? So 1 million devices, or a savings of $1.1 billion over 3 years.
          • not bad for a silly browser

            You can do much more with Google apps than with office 365, and not to mention it costs much less. Doing better than Microsoft with a silly web browser is not that bad.
    • Maybe that's because

      they are to poor to afford anything more functional.
      • No, it is because they are teaching knowledge and professional...

        ...skills in all subjects while in some countries school computing means teaching narrow low level technical skill sets like the ones you are advocating.

        Windows is great for teaching specific narrow, low grade, computing skills and courses like "Touch Typing and MS Word skills for Beginners and Intermediate Levels", "Excel skills for secretarial level staff", "Advanced AutoCAD 2012 Drafting skills", and "Photoshop Graphics Art Skills", "Basic Windows Competence Skills" and we do see these type of courses on offer in certain technical training institutions.

        However Chromebooks and Google Apps are far better for teach far more generic and high level stuff, generic subjects like math, science, history, geography, art, etc. They are for imparting knowledge, and a better suited to those aiming at tertiary higher education, and professional levels. This is because Chromebooks don't just teach a narrow skills for specific applications or for computing - Chromebooks combined with Google apps are are a portal for knowledge and collaboration, one in which the computing stays out of the way and allows both teachers and students to fully focus on learning the subject rather than the computer or the application.

        Comparing Chromebooks+Google Apps with the Windows approach you are advocating is like comparing a degree at MIT or Yale with a McDonald's degree in Hamburgerology. I know which one I would want my children to do.
  • Why Google is good for education institutions

    Take a typical student (even in the US), how many of them need anything more than an Internet browser, basic word processor, possibly a spreadsheet, and presentation software for practical school work? Just to be conservative, probably 75% of the student population fits this profile. Think about how much it'll cost a parent or a school to fund the equipment and software for such needs. You do the math comparing Microsoft-based vs Google-based solutions. On hardware alone, it's at least 2x savings with Chromebooks. With software licensing, it's 5x-10x savings. Keep in mind with ChromeOS, you won't need anti-virus protection software not will you need to worry about software upgrades/maintenance (which a typical sysadmin would need to be hired to do). Microsoft tries to come out with something new every 3-4 years just to extract additional upgrade revenue for the Windows and Office Apps. With Google Apps, you need not worry about that.

    So this isn't about being poor, every educational institution (US as well) faces budget constraints and technology challenges. Google has made it extremely affordable, maintenance free, safe, and collaborative for everyone to use Google Apps and ChromeOS.

    Lastly, if you (Owllll1net) think this will be "useless" in the job market. You are so wrong! These technology skills are becoming ubiquitous. Computers are now more like a tool (whether you're using a pc, mac, chromebook, or linux machine). Good employers care more about the content that one has to deliver vs what tools you use to do it.
  • Malaysia adopts Google Apps, Chromebooks for education

    I bet Google paid them to take these chromebooks and use Google apps.
    • Re: I bet Google paid them

      How much you want to bet?
  • malaysia supports chrome apps and chromebooks

    I shall not go as far as to disagree totally with google apps per se or chrome's cloud platforms being used for educational objectives as documents can easily and safely be stored and accessed and even viewed off-line via cloud computing. My doubts and disagreement lies in the impractical use of chrome books which are basically empty shell case laptops running on an android platform desperately seeking a markeatable identity and mid range ones not even having a touch screen UI. Chrome books are basically tabs dressed as laptops with many set backs especially the weight and mass issues , too bulky for ease of mobility and only performs basic google drive like functions via cloud sharing. Most mid range models have poor resolutions of 1024X768. Wouldnt a proper tab with jelly bean 412 os which performs all these functions , is light weight and way more affordable with hd display of 1280x800 , usb for ext kb's and hdmi outputs ,touchscreen UI , supports chrome & droid market apps fully and google drive and cloud sharing be way more appropriate as is the case with Thailand ,UK , most of Europe and even the US be the answer. And what more if that tab was a local product costing a mere rm500 with much more tech and programs thrown in for good measure , now wouldnt that be a way sweeter deal!! Besides the estimated savings so reported sounds dubious given the over priced issue of high end chrome books like the pixel whilst mid range ones are a serious cause of concern with blank low end features at usd 260 very least. Simply enough couple the chrome apps with a good aptly priced tab that supports cloud sharing and google drive with the host of features spelt out above and it should serve it's purpose over time
    pasha dhal
    • You are confusing Windows netbooks with Chromebooks.

      Chromebooks have a minimum screen resolution of 1366x768 the same as the Macbook Air 11.6". for the $199 and $249 low and models and 1280x1024 12" screens for the midrange ones.

      You are confusing the slower AMD E-series or Atom powered 10" Windows netbook rubbish and the 10" Atom powered Windows 8 hybrid rubbish with the higher performance and full sized screens and keyboards offered by Chromebooks.
  • google chrome's edu apps

    In furtherance , how suitable are the edu apps for the Malaysian syllabus and how much of it is even topic related let alone the cloud monitoring system for teachers. Given the weight and mass factors where do these chromebooks take refuge ,in the classrooms or do the students have an extra load to ferry abt? And if left in the schools ,who's in charge of charging the devices ,all of them. Are there sufficient electrical points for this. And since the chromebook is typically web based for the app what about wifi connectivity and sufficient bandwidth. Most of all , is the web based OS better than a droid OS which can easily adopt drive and google docs and cloud sharing with added use of the internet to access a localized and customized edu syllabus via a web site or even a locally developed app covering a local edu syllabus to address such needs in preinstalled state given proper time and planning. There are abundant well crafted e-tutor sites and programs already to be tapped upon and the only simple step is to configure these resources and put them to work on droid tabs. Something to think about lest haste makes waste !!! Important to remember that advanced measures takes proper and prudent planning to ensure success
    pasha dhal