There are a ton of educational software platforms out there, but none as mature as Gaggle. Gaggle launched in 1999 as a student email service. Today, Gaggle has expanded well beyond email, and now has products in just about every major component of education software. Currently, Gaggle is used in 15,000 schools in 57 countries, and manages over 2 million accounts and stores more than 750 million emails. The core offerings of Gaggle consist of: safe student email, shared calendars, assignment drop boxes, discussion boards, blogs, digital lockers, online document editing and collaborative, safe SMS Texting and filtered YouTube access. Rob Yoegel, a member of the Gaggle Team, was kind enough to tell us a little bit more about Gaggle.
What is Gaggle?
Specifically created for K-12, Gaggle features built-in processes and classroom workflows designed to promote educator and student productivity. Teachers can easily create, assign, collect and correct assignments on their schedule, while promoting student engagement and embracing the benefits of social networking in a safe and controlled environment.
Gaggle also provides learning management, professional development, website design and hosting, and archiving solutions to hundreds of school districts, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC), Detroit Public Schools (MI) and Duval County Public Schools (FL). The company has won numerous industry awards, including District Administration Magazine 2013 Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product and a 2012 CODiE Award Winner for Best Cross-Curricular Solution.
So who was this product built for? Is Gaggle specifically for large schools?
Educators at schools of all shapes and sizes. Here’s what just a few say:
“I have been using Gaggle exclusively to deliver my online instruction. Gaggle has made my life much easier because everything is all in one place!”
– Andrew Clark, 21st Century Literacy Facilitator
Bennett Elementary, Detroit Public Schools
“Gaggle provides a great service for our school district. Gaggle’s email service and Human Monitoring Service gives our district the assurance that our students are being protected and are safe while using email and other web-based resources.”
– Matt Pelland
Instructional Technology Director, Baraboo School District
“The features that Gaggle offers for student-to-student and student-to-teacher communication and collaboration was what drew our district to Gaggle. The customer support and training provided by Gaggle were also important to us for the support that teachers and students need.
– Jenna Elfrink, Instructional Technology Specialist
Reeds Spring School District
What makes Gaggle different from other education platforms?
Gaggle is a learning platform for the real classroom. While the vast majority of education leaders would agree that students need to use modern technology tools in order to gain the skills they will need to succeed in our fast-paced and ever-evolving world, they are nervous about allowing wholesale access to those tools on the Internet. Concerns about students being exposed to dangers like pornography, child predators and cyberbullying can prevent the progress in education that our students require to be successful in the future. But restricting today’s youth to conventional educational methodology is counter-productive.
Safe and secure communication has been Gaggle’s core competency for almost two decades. Educators can have the confidence to allow students to take advantage of current technology tools for communication, collaboration, productivity and social learning.
Student safety is critical. No one does more to protect students than Gaggle.
Tell us about the founder. Why did he get involved in the education space?
As an entrepreneur in the field of technology and education, Gaggle’s founder, Jeff Patterson, felt strongly that email was a powerful tool for staying connected with friends and colleagues, and played an integral role in the success of businesses he was involved in. He wanted to bring that power of communication to schools to engage and motivate students. Understanding that student safety was a primary concern for schools in allowing use of email, Jeff created a system that filters messages and allows control and access for teachers and administrators in 1999.
Jeff is frequently asked why he chose the name “Gaggle.” As you may know, gaggle is the name for a large group of geese. According to Jeff, “Our goal was to give teachers an easy way to watch over their gaggle of students, hence the name Gaggle.”
Since the inception of Gaggle as a student email provider, the company has grown significantly and is now so much more than email. We are continually adding popular features for communication and collaboration, all within a safe, filtered, and controlled environment. Gaggle’s collection of tools has grown to include Digital Lockers, Discussion Boards, Instant Messaging, Blogs, Class Pages, Assignment Drop Boxes, Calendars, Social Learning Wall, GaggleTube and more.
Jeff’s vision of student-centric schools using cutting-edge technology to inspire creativity and ingenuity in today’s students remains the driving force in Gaggle’s continuing story.
We would like to thank Rob and the whole Gaggle team for answering our questions. For more info, head over to Gaggle.net, or click on any of the social icons at the top of the page.