Gmail Transition – Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we transitioning to Google?
Rockaway Township Public Schools committed to the Google environment with the rollout of the Power of One initiative in the middle school. Chromebooks are Google-based laptops that only operate in the Google environment and now that every student from grades 3-8 is assigned a Chromebook.
Since most of our staff have two Rockaway Township email addresses, operating in two distinct email/calendaring environments (Office 365 and Gmail) has proven very challenging. We believe that transitioning to a single system will make communicating with one another, with students and with parents easier and more efficient.
What does the Google environment include?
For those of you who haven’t used the Gmail platform, it is a set of web-based messaging and collaboration applications that Google hosts on its own servers – Gmail, Google Calendar, Contacts, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Groups, Sites. Google provides these applications as a web service, rather than as software to download and install. To access Google, you simply use a web browser on a computer that’s connected to the Internet or your smart device.
What is the transition schedule?
Our goal is to make the switch in early July 2018. Once the transition is complete, any email sent to your rocktwp.org address will automatically get forwarded to your Gmail rocktwp.net address.
You will continue to have access to your Office 365 account.
What will my email address be?
We will discontinue the use of the rocktwp.org address and transition to using the rocktwp.net address exclusively. Your username will remain the same. You will, however, continue to receive all email messages sent to your rocktwp.org address as we will be forwarding messages to your rocktwp.net address indefinitely.
How will I access my Gmail account?
There are many methods to access your account, but the recommended method is to use the Chrome web browser and the address https: //mail.google.com/
Are you migrating my existing email, contacts, and calendar to Google?
Yes, there will be documentation on migrating all of your email messages, calendar events, and personal contacts from Microsoft Outlook to Google.
How much time will it take to set up and learn how to use Google?
You will be able to master the basics, like sending and receiving email and viewing and scheduling meetings, very quickly. It may take more time to really learn to make the most of your new services, depending on how you currently use Outlook. For example, for a typical email and calendar migration, expect to spend a few hours to take the training, review documentation, and setup your services.
Will I still have access to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint?
Yes, we will continue to license Microsoft Office.
Is there a desktop application (like Outlook) that I can use with Gmail?
Yes, however we strongly recommend that you use the Gmail web interface to interact with your email, calendar and contacts. This is Google’s native client, so it contains the most features, the best search capabilities, ease of use, and best support. Those who use Gmail in their personal lives will already know how to use it.
Is there app for my phone?
Yes, whether you have an iPhone or Android phone, there are many apps that you can use to interact with your Rockaway Township Public Schools Gmail and calendar.
What does Google include?
Your new Google account will include the following services:
- Google Calendar
- Google Groups
- Docs, Sheets & Slides
- Google Sites
- Google Drive
What are some of the other benefits of using Gmail and Google?
Additional benefits include:
- Lower infrastructure costs — Our email will be stored securely on Google’s servers at no cost.
- Lower support costs — Because Google hosts the email and calendar services, there’s no more email client software to maintain on individual computers
- Continuous Upgrades and Improvement — Google updates the Google platform behind the scenes, so we can leverage the ongoing creative and technical developments to provide students and staff with powerful, easy-to-use tools for getting their work done
- Unlimited Storage — With Google, our email, calendar and document storage capacity will grow automatically as our needs grows
- Access to services from anywhere, anytime — Like we had with Office 365, a key benefit of the cloud-hosted solution is that we can access email, contacts, and calendar from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, anywhere in the world
- More collaboration features — With Google’s next-generation applications, we can collaborate with colleagues and students more easily and efficiently than ever before
Is Google the same as the personal (free) version of Gmail and Google Calendar?
They’re similar, but we’ll be using the Education edition of Google, which provides more features, more storage, and more support.
Will there be advertisements with Google?
Ads are turned off in Google for Education services and K–12 Google for Education users don’t see ads when they use Google Search and are signed in to their Google for Education accounts.
Will anyone be reading my emails during the migration from Office 365 to Gmail?
No one will be reading your email during the migration. The process is automated as large volumes of mail will be transferred from one platform to another. This may be a good time to set up a personal email address if you don’t already have one and review the district’s Acceptable Use Policy.
What kind of scanning or indexing of user data is done on Google for Education accounts?
Google does NOT scan Google for Education emails for advertising purposes. Google for Education services don’t collect or use student data for advertising purposes or to create ad profiles. Google is a separate offering that provides additional security, administrative and archiving controls for education, work, and government customers. Like many email providers, Google does scanning in Gmail to keep our customers secure and to improve their product experience. In Gmail for Google for Education, this includes virus and spam protection, spell check, relevant search results and features like Priority Inbox and auto-detection of calendar events. Scanning to provide product features is done on all incoming emails and is 100% automated.
Can Google for Education be used in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?
Yes. Google for Education core services comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Google’s commitment to do so is included in their agreements.
Can Google for Education be used in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998?
Yes. Google contractually requires that schools using Google for Education get the parental consent required by COPPA. Google’s services can be used in compliance with COPPA as long as a school has parental consent.
Can I review Google’s privacy information?
Google for Education’s privacy notice can be found here: https://gsuite.google.com/terms/education_privacy.html