From Tom James and Harvey Spector:
After several months of campus discussion, we are pleased to announce that over the next four to five months, TC will adopt the use of Google Apps for Education as our officially supported email and calendar platform for faculty, staff, and students. Current faculty and staff TC email addresses will all work with the new TC Gmail (see below for additional details). Many other institutions have made or are in the process of making a similar migration, and have reported widespread satisfaction with the results.
Many of our faculty and students are already using Google’s collaboration tools and are familiar with the advantages, which include:- a 20-fold increase in the size of the mailbox, which is currently 7.5 GB in GMail
- access from anywhere via myTC plus smart phones and other devices
- easy document sharing with TC and external people
- easy creation of websites
- easy generation of survey forms
- text and video-chat.
We have our own TC-branded version of Google Apps including Gmail. That is, our email addresses will be @tc.columbia.edu, and all the aliases faculty and staff have been using will be directed to it. Our content belongs to us and will not be scanned for display of contextually relevant ads. It will be stored at the highest standards of security. CIS is supporting adoption and use of this suite of applications, integrating them into TCApps, our new teaching and learning platform based on Moodle, Google and other products which will be ready for the spring semester. (See the website below for additional details.)
CIS staff will make the process as smooth as possible for all of us. There will be overview and training sessions starting this week, custom sessions for departments upon request, open hours for walk-in consulting, and extensive information and how-to’s on the TCApps website (see below). When faculty and staff move their Exchange accounts to Google, messages addressed to any of their Exchange addresses will automatically go to the new Gmail accounts. Faculty and staff transition will begin with an opt-in process starting in January and is expected to be complete by April.
Existing Columbia email accounts (Cubmail) will not be affected. Beginning in March, official TC email to students will be directed to their TC Gmail and students admitted after that time will not be given Columbia email accounts.
The following web page has training schedules, FAQ’s and help topics and will be regularly updated with details about TCApps and the migration project: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tcapps.