Microsoft offers Live@edu, a web-based program that enables student collaboration and allows teachers to distribute homework and PowerPoint presentations online.

Despite the trend toward secure login add-ons, Google Apps provides a secure environment for schools, said Jeff Keltner, business development manager for Google Apps for Education.

Keltner said school employees and students must contact their domain administrator before they make any password changes to their Google Apps accounts, helping to mitigate unauthorized password switches that can lead to stolen information.

“We take security extremely seriously and work hard to make sure that all of our systems are maximally secure,” Keltner said. “In that vein, passwords are one of the critical aspects of security for all our systems, including Google Apps.”

Google Apps for Education, he said, offers extra web security for schools and organizations who want more than the standard features. The extras include smart cards, certificates, and biometrics that make hackers’ jobs far more difficult.

“This is critical for schools, who often have open networks on campus connected to the internet,” Keltner said.

Links:

Google Apps for Education

Microsoft Live@edu