Information Resources and Technologies is conducting an evaluation and pilot of Google Apps for Education during the second half of this semester. Students who are interested in piloting Google Apps are asked to visit Mail Pilot Opt-in for more information and to sign up.
Over the next two weeks, members of the IRT project team working on the Google Apps pilot will select 50 to 100 volunteers who represent a cross section of students from campus.
Ideal volunteers should be:
A growing number of schools have opted to use Google Apps and e-mail as either a supplement or replacement for their technology services. Google offers its e-mail, docs, and other applications to educational institutions free of charge and without advertising. Because of the scale of Google’s data centers and resources, it is able to provide storage limits that are much greater than we can currently provide here at UST. Google also provides a set of collaboration tools built into its application suite that allows users to easily share files and work together on papers and presentations; additionally, the Google e-mail service may allow IRT to provide a more seamless transition from student e-mail to alumni e-mail in the future.
Currently UST uses Microsoft Exchange e-mail for faculty, staff and students, and has done so since 1999. Exchange has been a robust and reliable e-mail solution for UST. Many existing services such as Blackboard, Murphy Online and the UST Portal utilize Exchange e-mail. The pilot project will help us analyze the effectiveness of Google Apps as a possible replacement of Exchange and the current central storage solution (MyStorage) for students.
As part of the pilot group volunteers will be able use Google’s e-mail, docs and other applications under a St. Thomas address using their existing NetID usernames and passwords. As this is a pilot, IRT will be creating a special domain with Google (pilot.stthomas.edu); however, IRT expects to have forwards enabled so that mail directed to existing addresses will be delivered to volunteers’ pilot mailboxes.
The results of the pilot project will be announced in Bulletin Today at the end of the project.
For more information contact the IRT Tech Desk, (651) 962-6230.