CCSD Google Transition Update

Google AppsOver the next few days, I’ll be publishing a series of posts with much more detail about our up coming Google transition.  There will be a lot of information to digest, so I’ll be parceling it out in what I hope are reasonable chunks.  This is a great example of information that is very important, but not necessarily urgent.  Please take a few minutes with each post as some point in the next couple of week to read the information carefully and take any appropriate actions.  Don’t hesitate to post a comment here (particularly if your question may apply to others) or drop me a note directly with questions.

The design for making this move feasible was extremely complex.  I needed to be sure that our core strategies for the move were sound before I made any of the details public.  We are now at the point in the process where I think it’s safe to start sharing more about the process.  That being said, I’m certain as we get deeper into the change that there will be some changes.  I will, of course, share any changes as soon as we become aware of them.

Here is a quick overview of the process as we understand it at this time:

Q: When will all of the Google and email changes be happening?

A:  Since this is a really big project, we will be breaking it into three phases:

  • Phase One:  New Google and email accounts for students. (First day of school, 2015)
  • Phase Two: New Google accounts for staff. (summer 2015)
  • Phase Three: New email accounts for staff. (summer and fall 2015)

Q:  What are the main benefits for having staff and students on the same Google domain?

A:  There will be a number of benefits for doing this:

  • Google Classroom: A shared domain makes use of Google Classroom, a new and developing, but powerful tool from Google tailored specifically for teachers.  Without accounts on the same domain, it won’t work.
  • Address Book and Groups:  This will be really convenient.  All students and staff will share a common address book and groups directory.  This means that Docs, Sheets, or Sites, etc… can be shared with these groups. We will be able to create section/class groups for student emails. That will be a huge time saver when sharing Google content.
  • Calendars and Reminders:  Students and staff will be sharing a common set of calendars as well.  This means that staff can create/send calendar appointments to each other easily, including groups.  This means that automatic reminders could go out to students.
  • Google Sites:  Since we will all be in the same domain, student Sites and staff Sites will now appear together in the list of Sites. This sounds like a minor thing, but it makes a big difference when browsing or managing a large number of Sites.
  • Availability of other Apps and Programs:  Many third party programs like Hapara or Go Guardian will not work if students and staff don’t share a common Google domain.  While we don’t use any of these programs yet, we will now have the option if we wish to do so in the future.
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