Over 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.