Students at Virginia’s Community Colleges have a new benefit this week: their student email is now provided by Gmail as part of a suite of Google applications imlemented by Information Technology Services.
The move, which replaces the former student email package, offers gigabytes of email storage in a reliable and familiar email interaface — but that’s just part of the deal. Students now have to Google Calendar, Google Talk for instant messaging, Google Docs for real-time collaboration on documents and projects, and Google Sites, where students can create their own websites.
Better and improved services — and a huge cost savings — make it a no-brainer for an enterprise-wide implementation, says Matt Lawson, director of enterprise services for the VCCS.
Many higher education institutions are leaving behind old email programs in favor of working with Google Apps-Education Edition, including the University of Virginia. The trend is spreading to community colleges as well.
With more than 300,000 student accounts, Virginia’s Community Colleges will become one of the largest implementations of the service.
The migration from the previous email was done over the weekend, and was completely seamless. Monday when they signed in, they had all their mail in Gmail.
One small (not) benefit: all the benefits of Gmail, none of the advertising.
It’s a strong move.
— Posted by Susan Hayden