Google Apps for Education @ PLU
Top 5 FAQs

1. What's different?

  • All PLU Community users have all services, including Google Calendar
  • Webmail will be replaced with Gmail
  • Oracle calendar will be phased out for Google calendar
  • Storage space increased from 150MB to 7+ GB--almost 48x more!
  • Expanded support for mobile device integration

2. What's not changing?

  • Desktop applications, including Microsoft Office
  • @plu.edu-your PLU address
  • Epass single-sign-on
  • Email clients (Thunderbird, etc.) will not be required to change although people will be encouraged to use the web version

3. When is this happening?

  • Equipment purchasing June 1
  • Integration and testing now through mid-July
  • Opt-In: Oracle Calendar Users and Administrative Assistants 7/21/09 - 7/24/09
  • Mass Migration: All Remaining Oracle Calendar Users 7/24/09
  • Opt-In: Remaining Faculty, Staff, and Departments 7/27/09 - 7/29/09
  • Opt-In: Students 7/30/09 - 7/31/09
  • Mass Migration: All Remaining Accounts 7/31/09

During the migration, there will be a minimum of 2 days where access to old email will be limited but any new email will be flowing into Google with little or no disruption in email services

4. How are Google Apps for Education (GAE) different from the "normal" Google Apps?

There are several significant differences:

  • It will be PLU-branded and we will know what the addresses are.
  • We will have integration of a single PLU ePass sign-on.
  • Some things behind the scenes will enable you to share calendars within PLU only, instead of everyone in the world.
  • Google Apps for Education (GAE) @PLU doesn't have advertising like public Google Apps.
  • While Google searches their accounts for information and maintains an index of this information, Google doesn't include the GAE @PLU data in their regular search and index data stores.
  • GAE @PLU is controlled by the I&TS group at PLU. Accounts are added, deleted, and supported by PLU staff much as they are at present.
  • GAE @PLU access is controlled by your ePass account.  The same password that gets you into PLU's online tools, gets you into GAE @PLU.
  • Your GAE @PLU email address will just be your normal "@plu.edu" address.
  • GAE @PLU introduces the idea of community in which we come together in collaborative settings.

5. What about privacy? I've heard that Google tracks your emails. Do you have any concerns about this?

Initially, Google was not the lead option because of our privacy concerns. However, we discovered that we can turn off advertisements and have assurances in our contract that say "each party is going to protect confidential information as if it were its own." The only reason for searching our email would be a legal requirement to do so. That would involve a subpoena and Google would contact PLU prior to any action on their part. We are confident that our privacy concerns have been adequately addressed.