Google Is Coming!
Ulster BOCES/MHRIC is proud to announce that it will be implementing the use of the Google Apps for Education, including Gmail. This change, which will replace the current Groupwise system will impact all Ulster BOCES and MHRIC staff. The narrative below details the benefits and features of this new system, and provides answers to questions that we anticipate you may have. All employees will have the opportunity for training, and dates will be announced soon.
Please review the list of frequently asked questions below. If you have further questions that you feel need to be answered prior to your formal training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Google Apps for Education? Google Apps for Education is a free suite of hosted email and collaboration applications exclusively for K-12 schools as well as universities. Explore the Google Apps for Education site to learn about the success of this product at such educational institutions as the University of Notre Dame.
Why is ULSTER BOCES/MHRIC adopting Google Apps for Education? An explosion of technology innovation, increasingly driven by commercial and consumer markets continues to expand people-to-people communications and collaboration capabilities. New developments such as smart mobile devices, social networking, Twitter, cloud services, real-time shared whiteboards, and many others, are having and will continue to have a major impact on how Ulster BOCES delivers its programs and services. Ulster BOCES embraces taking advantage of these new opportunities. A critical element of advancing Ulster BOCES IT infrastructure is looking to the future to provide modern tools that staff need to be successful and competitive in the years ahead. An organization-wide set of shared, baseline communications and collaboration services will allow the broadest set of different groups to communicate effectively.
What are the core apps that will be offered to Ulster BOCES staff? While many different applications can be turned on in Google Apps for Education, Ulster BOCES will initially implement five core apps. The applications that the Ulster BOCES staff will immediately have access to include Gmail (email and search tools), Google Calendar, Google Chat, Google Contacts, and Google Docs (shared documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with real-time collaboration capability).
When will the transition begin? It is the expectation that MHRIC will make Google Apps for Education available for MHRIC users on July 9, 2012 and Ulster BOCES users on August 6, 2012.
Will Ulster BOCES offer training? Yes, absolutely. Training sessions and online materials will be made available and publicized well in advance of scheduled migration dates. Staff members from the Application Training Department and Instructional Services will work with users to ensure a smooth transition.
Will my email be migrated to Google Apps automatically for me? Yes. All users will automatically have their mail migrated to Google Apps (Gmail) by Ulster BOCES technical staff.
Will my calendar be migrated? Yes. All Groupwise calendars will be migrated as part of a server-side migration process.
Will my contacts be migrated? Yes. All Groupwise contacts will be migrated as part of a server-side migration process.
Will retirees be eligible for Google accounts? No.
Will my email address be the same? Yes, your email address will stay the same after the move to Google Apps for Education.
Are there privacy and security risks associated with moving our organization’s data into Google's servers? Unlike individual accounts with Google, Ulster BOCES Google Apps for Education accounts will be covered by an overall contract between Ulster BOCES and Google which provides appropriate assurances of privacy. Under this contract, all data is owned solely by the institution and the individual client and the institution can delete that data permanently at will. For more information, please see Google's Security and Privacy FAQ, Top Ten Reasons Why Customers Trust Google Apps with Their Data .
Will there be advertisements in our email? No. Google Apps for Education does not allow advertisements in email.
What if I already have a Gmail account? Will my Ulster BOCES Google Apps account be different from my personal Google account? Yes, your personal Google account (@gmail.com) will be entirely separate from your Ulster BOCES Google Apps for Education account (@ulsterboces.org). Having a Ulster BOCES Google Apps for Education account will not affect your personal Gmail account. Your Google Apps account for Ulster BOCES provides the benefits of Gmail in an advertisement-free environment.
Is Google Apps for Education accessible to all members of ULSTER BOCES? Google is committed to improving its services so that they are accessible to all people, including those with disabilities. See Making Google Accessible and Google's Accessible Web Initiatives: Open Standards and 508 Documents.
Will Microsoft Office still be available? Yes. Many employees use the Microsoft Office suite of products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and will continue to do so even with the capabilities offered by Google Apps for Education (e.g. Google Docs).
What is the preferred Web browser to use when accessing Google Apps for Education? To have the most functionality with Google Apps for Education, Google Chrome web browser is recommended. You will still use Internet Explorer and FireFox as needed for other applications.
Can you work offline using Google Apps? Google offers offline email support through its Chrome browser. Offline Google Docs capability is currently “read only”, but Google is working to offer edit-mode offline access. See Using Gmail, Calendar and Docs without an Internet Connection, About Google Docs Offline, and Improvements to the Gmail Offline Chrome App.
Which mobile devices are supported by Google Apps for Education? Google Apps for Education is powered by the Web, so your mail, calendar, contacts and documents can be accessed - and edited - on almost any mobile device or tablet. See the Google Apps "Mobile" page.
What are the quotas for each of the Google Apps for employee’s individual accounts Gmail (25 GB), Contacts (25,000), Docs (1 GB for uploads and 5,000 native Google Docs)
Will employees still need to archive their mail? In most cases, employees will not need to archive mail locally because of the large storage space available in Google Apps for Education (25 GB). Ulster BOCES technical services department will automatically archive all the Gmail accounts.
What are the email attachment limits in Google Apps for Education? The current limit for Gmail is 25 MB. Employees who wish to share documents larger than 25 MB can readily do so in the collaborative cloud environment using Google Docs.
To whom may I send comments or questions? Feedback from the ULSTER BOCES staff is essential part of making a successful transition. Please send your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com, and a member of the IT Staff will get back to you.
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