What is Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a cloud-based collaboration service hosted by Google in their datacenters. It offers a feature-rich email experience that integrates with other products from Google. In addition to email, GAFE includes a core suite of complimentary apps.
Google Apps Included:
Google Calendar is a full-featured, online calendar and organizing solution.
Google Drive is an online storage solution for office productivity documents. It is comparable to Box.
Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are online apps that allow realtime collaboration with productivity documents.
Google Sites is a cloud-based workspace tool that allows customers to create basic Web sites. The sites can leverage the other GAFE apps.
Other apps may be available. However, GAFE is limited to a core suite of apps and does not include the same functionality as their consumer offerings.
Google has created a great ecosystem of products that enables collaboration between customers under the Google umbrella. Ubiquitous access is emphasized with particular focus on mobility and Google Chrome integration.
• Customer email domains are maintained
• 30 GB pool of storage shared between all GAFE apps
• Great for academic group collaboration
More information: https://www.google.com/edu/training/tools/more/apps/level1.html
Google can have a significant amount of feature change year over year to improve the customer experience. The primary app offerings tend to be stable. However, component behavior, programming interfaces, and product offerings can be abruptly deprecated.
Since Google Apps for Education is an off-site, hosted service, the CMU community must accept the product suite as is.
Collaboration with other Google Apps customers outside of the GAFE andrew.cmu.edu domain is not always possible without moderate effort. This limitation can include customers with personal Gmail accounts.
Data is held in a robust, redundant, fault-tolerant system. But data loss through accidental deletion may not be recoverable, especially if it is not discovered immediately. Data is not retained for more than 30 days.
Data governed by regulatory mechanisms such as ITAR (munitions), U.S. Export Control (EAR), FERPA, FISMA, HIPPA, Attorney/Client Privilege, Student Loan Application Information (GLBA), Credit Card Industry (PCI), and others is not approved for storage in off-premise facilities. Also, Social Security Numbers, personal tax information, Human Subject Research data, and certain other institutional data types must be stored in CMU protected, on-premise facilities.
Where can I find more information?
Sign up for your migration, here.
Google Apps for Education – Common Questions
CMU Computing Services – Google Apps FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my favorite email client work with Google Apps for Education.
In most cases, YES. Google Apps for Education supports the following protocols
• Exchange ActiveSync
• Google Calendar API
Google encourages customers to use their official Gmail application, especially on mobile devices.
CMU Computing Services offers guidance on mobile device configurations:
I’m concerned about my privacy and cloud-based services like Google Apps for Education. Is my information secure?
This is a valid concern with the state of computing in general. It’s difficult for customers to know exactly what has been shared with whom and in what manner. Sharing information is the essence of global communications networks. And yet, customers would like assurances that their information is only shared with the parties they explicitly choose and in the manner they specify. Unfortunately, many service providers only fully disclose their privacy policies in lengthy documents that use legal terms. Although CMU Computing Services cannot speak to the privacy of information shared with friends or acquaintances directly, the CMU Information Security Office, CMU Office of General Counsel, and the Contracts Office have reviewed the agreement between CMU and Google. These entities offer guidance in the following links
CMU Google Apps FAQ – Privacy and Security
CMU Computing Services – Guidelines for Cloud Computing
Transition FAQ – from Cyrus to Google Apps
Google Apps FAQ
Google Apps for Education Terms of Service