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Google Apps for Education Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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 25GB of storage per user account.

2. Will I Have a New E-mail Address

No, your email address will remain the same

3. 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.

Privacy is also an important consideration when data is hosted by a third party. Google has a published privacy policy. In this policy Google says that it adheres to the US Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access and enforcement. The policy also outlines the particular information that Google collects and how this information is used. In a separate document Google addresses third party use of data. This document states:

"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."

4.  Will Google protect me against SPAM and viruses?

Yes, SPAM and Virus protection is built into Google Apps for Education.

5.  Will Google place ads in our mail?

No, ads will not be displayed.

6. 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 A&M-Texarkana.

7. Can I use Thunderbird, Outlook, or other email clients?

Yes, most email clients can be configured to work with Google.

8. 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.

9. How come my Google Apps for A&M-Texarkana account doesn’t have the same applications as my personal Gmail account?

Your Google Apps for A&M-Texarkana account is part of a software suite called Google Apps for Education, which Google offers to educational institutions and non-profit organizations. Google decides which services to include in the Google Apps for Education software suite.

10. What if I want to use a Google program that is not offered through Google Apps for Education?

Some programs are not available through the Google Apps for Education product. Google releases features for its commercial Gmail system before it releases features for Google Apps for Education.

11. What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is comprised of four component applications: Google Documents, Google Spreadsheets, Google Presentations and the Document Management Center. It offers "Dropbox" like storage, but is associated with your @ace.tamut.edu account, making it a little safer to store data.  Click here(http://www.google.com/drive/about.html) for more information on Google Drive.

Google Documents allows you to create, share, and edit documents online. You can even upload Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or plain text documents into Google Drive. Edit documents online simultaneously with anyone you choose, and invite others to view them. Keep track of who made changes to a document and when, and roll back to any version. Publish documents online to the world, as webpages or post documents to your blog. Email your documents out as attachments.

Google Spreadsheets allows you to create, share, and edit spreadsheets online. Google Spreadsheets is also an essential part to Google Forms. Google Spreadsheets allows you to import and export these file types: .xlsx, .csv, .txt and .ods. You can also export data to a PDF or an HTML file. Format your cells and edit formulas so you can calculate results and make your data look the way you want it. Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet. Embed a spreadsheet, or a section of a spreadsheet, in your blog or website.

Google Presentations allows you to create, share, and edit online presentations. Import presentations in .ppt and .pps file types and export your online ones. The new PowerPoint 2007 file format of (.pptx) is not fully supported. This format can be uploaded and viewed, but not edited. You can also insert images and videos, and format your slides as you want. Allow simultaneous real-time viewing of presentations, online, from remote locations. Publish and embed your presentations in a website for the world to view.

Document Management Center allows you to manage all of your Google Documents from one screen. Organize, change permissions, rename, delete, upload or create new Google Docs from the Document management Center.

For more information on Getting Started with Google Drive see Google Drive Support Site.

12. How do I share documents with my personal Gmail account?

You can share documents with anyone who has a Gmail account including your personal Gmail account.  For more information on sharing documents see Google Drive document sharing support site.

13. What is Google+?

Google Plus is a place to share your thoughts, links and photos with people in your circles. You may create a profile with a photo and information about yourself, add people to different circles, depending on what information you want to share with them, and start sharing.

You can post a status, photo or video, and comment on other people's posts as well as use Hangouts to hold video chats with multiple people.

14. What are Google Sites?

Google Sites is an easy way to create web pages, for example for projects or societies. You can control what is public and what is private. Sites are easy to create, and you don't need to know how to write code or HTML. Creating a web page is as simple as writing a document, and you can easily embed documents, presentations and videos to develop interactive web sites. No additional software is required - you just need access to the web to view or edit your Site. Please note, Sites aren't intended to replace department web pages on the University web site.

15. How much total storage space does a student have in Gmail?

The storage capacity for your new AceMail account is continually increasing. The current storage capacity per account is 25 GB. That's 500 times larger than the old AceMail account storage!

16. What if I already have a personal Gmail account?

Your new AceMail powered by Google account is separate from your personal Gmail account. This account provides an ad-free environment and is your official A&M-Texarkana e-mail address.

17. How does Google handle spam?

Your new Gmail account will be protected from spam by Google’s anti-spam software. To read more about how Google handles spam see Google.

18. How do I view attachments?

You can view attachments in several ways. For more information see Google Support Site.

19. Which browsers can I use to access my AceMail account?

For more information of supported web browsers see Google Support Site.

20. Can I opt out of AceMail powered by Google?

No. This e-mail address is your official e-mail address through which the university sends e-mail communications and is recorded in the university's electronic directories.  Students are expected to check their e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis to stay current with university-related communications. If an individual wishes to have e-mail forwarded from their A&M-Texarkana e-mail account to another e-mail address (e.g., @hotmail.com, @aol.com, or an address on a departmental server), the individual may do so, but at his or her own risk. The university is not responsible for the handling of e-mail by outside vendors or by departmental servers. Having e-mail forwarded does not change the individual's responsibility for reading and responding to official communications sent to their A&M-Texarkana e-mail account.

21. Is Gmail Accessible (508 compliant)?

Google is actively working on 508 compliance and cites accessibility of Gmail as a priority. Users with disabilities have the following options to access their e-mail:

    Users can view Gmail with basic HTML. More information on Gmail and basic HTML View.
    Users can view Gmail using free 508 compliant software such as Thunderbird.
    Users can use Gmail with accessible technologies, which are available in the Computer lab in Jophn Moss Library.

22. Does Gmail meet FERPA guidelines?

Google is contractually and legally responsible to protect information. Google will not share e-mail contents or personal information to outside parties.

23.  Where can I learn more?

You can check out the Google Apps for Education FAQs
This is the Google Apps for Education General Site:  http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/

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