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Frequently Asked Questions
It's official! Eckerd College is moving to Google Apps for Education. This list of FAQs will answer some of your initial questions. We know other questions will arise as we proceed. ITS will continue to add to this list as we work through the migration plan to Google Apps. If you have a question that is not answered here please send it via email to email@example.com
What is Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Education (GAE) – GAE is a hosted suite of applications including communication (Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar) and collaboration (Google Docs, Google Video, Google Sites) tools. GAE also integrates with Google's search engine and provides robust searching within all of these applications. Currently, Google provides 7GB of storage per user account.
When will my account be moved to Google Apps for Education?
ITS will begin the process of migration in June. Sometime in July you will receive notice that you can migrate your own account to Google Apps. ITS will supply tools and support to help you migrate your account on your own. Current plans call for ITS to migrate all other accounts during the Fall Semester break 2010.
Will I have a new email address?
No, your email address will remain the same.
Is Google Apps Private and Secure?
With respect to security, Google maintains a network of redundant, physical data centers. Access to these data centers is limited to select Google personnel. In the interest of security Google does not publish the location of its physical data centers. As regards the data itself, Google encrypts data as it is being transmitted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. This is an extremely effective technique and is the same protocol used to transfer data in credit card payment systems. The data is also stored in encrypted form as it resides on Google's servers. The data is virtually segmented from all other data stored on Google's servers. Google also has a full-time security team that focuses solely on securing data. An independent auditor has also issued Google a SAS70 Type II certification. This certification means that Google has been found to have certain controls and protocols in place related to security. These include logical security, privacy, data center physical security, incident management and availability, and change management. Using Google for email would virtually eliminate the effect of persistent phishing attacks that have hit the college this year.
"Google does not share or reveal private user content such as email or personal information with third parties except as required by law, on request by a user or system administrator, or to protect our systems. These exceptions include requests by users that Google's support staff access their email messages in order to diagnose problems; when Google is required by law to do so; and when we are compelled to disclose personal information because we reasonably believe it's necessary in order to protect the rights, property or safety of Google, its users and the public."
Will Google protect me against SPAM and viruses?
Yes, SPAM and Virus protection is built into Google Apps for Education.
We have had some issues with Webmail availability. Will we have these same issues with Google?
Google reports that the Google Apps Education Edition, GMail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs, and Google Sites are guaranteed to be available at least 99.9% of the time.
Will Google place ads in our mail?
No, ads will not be displayed.
Will Google scan our mail for marketing purposes?
Google also addresses the issue of scanning and indexing of data.
"User content is only scanned or indexed in the following cases to provide you with a high-quality service.
- Some user data, such as email messages and documents, are scanned and indexed so your users can search for information in their own Google Apps accounts.
- Email is scanned so we can perform spam filtering and virus detection.
- Email is scanned so we can display contextually relevant advertising in some circumstances.
We do not scan or index data for any other purposes. Our scanning and indexing procedures are automated and involve no human interaction. Except when your users choose to publish information publicly, Google Apps data is not part of the general google.com index. Scanned information is not shared with third parties."
Again, it should be noted that ads will not be displayed in Google Apps for Education at Eckerd College.
Can I use Thunderbird, Outlook, or other email clients?
Will I be able to transfer my personal address book from Webmail to Google?
Yes, ITS will provide instructions for moving your personal address book from Webmail to Google. The Eckerd College directory will be transferred by ITS.
Are other schools using Google Apps for Education?
Notable schools that have implemented GAE are the University of Florida, USF, USF-St. Petersburg, Flagler University, Abilene Christian University, Arizona State University, Kent State University, Miami University, and the University of West Florida. There are currently over 8 million individual users of Google Apps for Education. Some of the additional schools are listed here.
Mail and Calendars
- Configuring IMAP clients (Thunderbird)
- Importing contacts or events/tasks
- Calendar: Create team calendars
Help for Mobile Devices:
- Configuring your Mobile Device
- Google: iPhone: Configure iPhone
- Google: Blackberry: Configure BlackBerry
- Google: Android v1 (G1): Configure Corporate Mail client
Google Apps Support Pages
- Google: Education Edition FAQ
- Google: Support, train and launch
- Google: Set up your help desk operations
- Google: "Stay in the Loop"
Google Apps Known Issues