Oregon public schools began using cloud computing as an integral tool in the classroom on April 28 thanks to new SaaS applications designed by Google specifically for education. The program, which Oregon is the first to use, was designed to make digital literacy universal and help school districts reduce IT costs at the same time.

Oregon is using the service for free on a voluntary basis while Google uses its feedback to improve the system. Google Apps for Education offers school systems myriad email services including in-depth filtering and archiving.

However, the ultimate benefit is that students and teachers can interact far easier than ever before.

"And instead of just grading a paper at the end of the process, Oregonian teachers can help students with their docs in real time, coaching them along the way," Google Apps Education manager Jaime Casap wrote on the company blog. "It's critical that students learn how to use the kind of productivity technology they'll need throughout their lives."

Federal Communications Commission Julis Genachowski listed improving computer literacy and overall education as a primary goal of his National Broadband Plan. With Google's newest product, it's clear that providing high-speed internet to every school in the U.S. is crucial to improving education.ADNFCR-2553-ID-19748933-ADNFCR