Monday, September 10, 2012

Migrating to Google Apps for Education - Groups

This Summer we migrated our entire district over from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps for Education. One of the challenges our folks are having with the change is moving from distribution lists in Microsoft Outlook to Google Groups in Google Apps.  Part of the confusion was self imposed, as often it seems is the case. For example during the second half of the last school year we aggressively ran a Google Apps pilot utilizing dual delivery. During that time we did not duplicate our existing shared distribution lists into our Google Apps domain. Even though most folks in the pilot had abandoned Outlook by the end of the school year, they continued to rely on the distribution lists (email address) of Exchange. As a result, when we migrated all staff over to Google Apps the pilot users continue to have the old distribution lists in their contacts. Plus, in an effort to make Google Groups easy for our new users, we named our new Groups with the same names of our previous distribution lists. This caused some confusion on the part of our pilot users until they became aware of the issue. 

Google Groups has much more power and potential than common distribution lists. The following YouTube video attempts to introduce Groups in Google Apps for Education and provide an introduction in their use.

In addition, a Google Doc version of the information in this video is available here: 

cc image courtesy of PLCMC training account on Flickr


Jack West said...

That is a very cool photo! Let's stay in touch about the migration. We are going the opposite direction in my high school. A few of my colleagues and I are supporting students in using GAFE in a recently added domain, but most teachers are not using GAFE (though they certainly use personal docs accounts).

Quinn said...