Students campaigning for better use of google apps at DMU

A group of students have been working with De Montfort Students Union (DSU) and Information Technology and Media Service (ITMS) to gather student opinion on the need for more features to be added to myDMU.

A survey is being shared to try and determine whether or not De Montfort University students feel they would benefit from access to more Google Apps through the university’s online platform.

Harvey Paul, second year Forensic Science student raised the issue last year.

He said: “I contacted ITMS and asked why more features of Google Apps for Education were not turned on.

“They said their hands were tied and that I need to bring it up with the DSU.

Harvey later got in touch with Amie Chapman, Deputy President of Education at DSU, who compiled the survey and will share the results with the IT business partner running the project, Diarmuid Cullinane and Head of IT Programmes and Planning Jon Hill.

Harvey added: “I raised my concerns and put it to them very strongly that for the £9000 a year myself and the other students are paying we are getting let down with the lack of online storage with remote access and lack of collaboration and document editing, spreadsheet editing tools given the fact that Google Apps for Education is free.

“Also given the fact that the university had had Google Apps for Education for three years and done nothing with it except turn on limited functionality of Gmail and Google Calendar.”

The university currently uses Google Apps for Education to supply email and timetabling services, however there are over 80 features that are turned off and could be of benefit to students.

Some of the services that could be turned on include online storage through Google Drive, an online word processer through Google Docs, Blogging site Blogger and more features of Google Calendar.

Although these services are free to access, they could be available to use from myDMU if the features were turned on.

Harvey also pointed out that they had signed up for the service for another three years with no plans to test any more features on offer.

He added: “I just could not believe it.”

The next step was then to see if students wanted the extra features so Amie constructed a survey which is still looking for student opinion.

Amie said: “Technology is always moving and evolving, DMU can’t afford to sit still. When we realised that the google apps are FREE and hence can be switched on by ITMS made it even more important to investigate.

“The survey has been open for some time with over 150 students responding, the more students respond the more ITMS will be convinced that they need to enhance myDMU.

“It’s important to get students views on everything, I act as a representative of students thus I act on their behalf and am guided by students in everything I do.

“In terms of the results, I hope ITMS investigate each google app, suss out the data protection and comparability with existing technology, and hopefully switch a few on as a result so students feel the benefits.”

The survey is available to complete at