Tech Director: Jonathan Parent
Data Manager: Stacy Cutrumbes
IMPORTANT GOOGLE APPS FOR EDUCATION SWITCHOVER INFORMATION
This email was sent to the entire staff on Tuesday, 8/10/2016
Dear SPS Staff,
We have a tentative cut-over date to Google Apps for Education this Friday evening, August 12 at 6pm. This means the following:
-New email will stop being delivered to Office 365 (our current email system) as of 8/12 at 6pm. Your current mailbox will NOT be deleted. It just means you will stop receiving NEW email here and you need to stop using it for school business.
In other words, NEW email will ONLY be delivered to your Google email account as of 8/12 at 6:01pm.
ACTION ITEMS FOR YOU
1) Request your Google username and password by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You don't need to include any specific info with the request, just send an email from your school email account.
3) Change your Google account password by visiting: www.ChangeMyGooglePassword.com.
(PLEASE NOTE: For resetting your password only, enter: SCHOOL\username for your username on the password reset page. For example, my email address is email@example.com. I would enter: SCHOOL\jparent as my username).
Cannot contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters
Be at least 7 characters in length
Contain characters from three of the following categories:
English uppercase characters (A through Z)
English lowercase characters (a through z)
Numbers (0 through 9)
Symbols (for example, !, $, #, %)
Our definition of success for this email project: the ability to log into your Google account and access your email. Everything else, such as customizations, configuring email delivery on your phone, integration with Outlook/Apple Mail/other email program, ability to open another user's mailbox, calendar, etc. is secondary and will not be considered an urgent request. Seriously, don't even ask.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am totally confused and I need some context to this email.
The district, as part of the turnaround process, is moving to a more education-focused email, document, and learning management platform called Google Apps for Education. It is also colloquially known as a "Google account", "GMail account", "Google Drive" and/or "Google Classroom." More about Google Apps for Education can be found here.
Why did my email address change?
It did and it didn't. While your Google account ends in @southbridgepublic.org, your existing email address will still work. Put another way, you will still receive email at your @southbridge.k12.ma.us email address (that is, if you have one; new staff hired this summer may not have one).
Do I have to migrate my email between Office365 and Google myself?
We have migrated over 300 mailboxes "behind the scenes" to Google as of today. This represents over 2 million emails migrated in total. Unfortunately, there are over 800 active mailboxes in our current mail system, which means it is nearly impossible to determine if a mailbox is active or not. We've migrated the obvious mailboxes and any remaining ones will be migrated on a case-per-case basis.
How does my school Google account work/link to/talk to/control my personal Google account?
It doesn't, in any way, shape, or form. We don't have anything to do with your personal Google account.
When am I getting trained on Google Apps for Education?
During the professional development week, every staff member will be given the opportunity to attend attend a 3-hour Google Bootcamp. You will learn the basics on GMail, Contacts, Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Classroom.
Does anything in this email affect my computer login procedure?
It will eventually. If you've been using another username and password combination to log into a district computer, continue to use it. We will be unifying your existing computer account with your Google account at some point over the next two months and we will coordinate with you when it is your time. In other words, we're trying to decrease the number of username and passwords you need to keep track of going forward.
If your completely new to the district, your Google username and password can be used to log into a district computer. Simply enter SCHOOL\username (not your full email address) for your username and enter the same password that you have for Google.
What do I need to do with my phone or tablet's email settings?
You will need to remove your existing school email account and add your new Google account to your device(s). Most modern devices have an option to add a GMail account. This is the option that you want.
How do I become a Google Guru?
Google has a very clear pathway to become a certified educator with Google products. More information can be found here.
Do I need to request my Google account username and password if I received it already via email or at a summer PD event?
No, you should keep using the username and password that you received, as long as your email address ends with @southbridgepublic.org.
New administration, new changes. What gives?
I'll keep this part short. When I started in this position, I was amazed by the amount of misdirected resources and sheer neglect on the back-end server and network configurations. Money that should have been spent in the classroom was going to servers, cloud services, and software subscriptions the district did not need. IT decisions were made unilaterally for many years. This should make you angry. We're changing the district's tech philosophy to include a few simple tenets:
1) Technology decisions have to be made with a focus on dramatically improving the student and staff experience
2) District funds have to be used for tech that makes sense as part of a larger strategic plan
3) Classroom time shouldn't be wasted on computer issues--but don't take my word for it. VIDEO
Please keep an open mind during this transition and please know that we are here for you.
Director of Technology
Southbridge Public Schools
The Online Training Center - We designed the new Training Center with teacher and classroom use at its core, and we built it on an interactive platform to support the learning process.
CS First - Empowering all students to create with technology through free computer science clubs - CS First provides free, easy-to-use computer science (CS) enrichment materials that target and engage a diverse student population.
Google Expeditions - Taking your students places a school bus can’t go
Expeditions Pioneer Program - Submit your interest in bringing Expeditions - the new virtual reality field trips using Google Cardboard - to your school.
Expeditions Beta - Please fill out this form if you’d like your school to be considered for the Expeditions beta. We’re looking to you to provide feedback about Expeditions while also spreading the word and teaching other educators about the product. If you're selected, you will receive an email confirmation and instructions for how to download the app. We’re hoping you’ll help by providing feedback on what you like and on areas we need to improve!