The district is adopting Google’s G Suite for Education (formerly “Google Docs” and "Google Apps") as its office document management and email platform.
When is this happening?
There will be several phases to this transition. In late March we will provide “Early Access” to the Google Suite applications. This allows any staff members who want to begin using Google tools right away the opportunity to do so.
After business hours on April 25th, the district will officially change its email system from FirstClass (@hibbing.k12.mn.us) to Google’s Gmail, using our new email addresses (@isd701.org). Transitioning the district's official email system at the end of this school year will help ensure smooth communications over the summer and an easier start to the next school year.
During the 2018-2019 school year, the district will provide training on using Google Suite applications and start moving existing documents to Google Drive.
The Technology Department will be making additional announcements in FirstClass memos (until we move to Google Mail in late April) and updating this site throughout the transition period.
Why are we doing this?
The iMac and iPad are unique in that they can utilize all three major office suite systems:
- Apple iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote)
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Google G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides)
This provides great flexibility, but it can also cause confusion and complexity, as well as increased training and support requirements. The district has decided to standardize on one office suite to help encourage collaboration and sharing within the district and with other districts.
We will also be able to integrate Google Suite with other district tools such as Schoology.
What does this mean for students?
Students will also have access to Google Suite for Education applications. Google Suite features for students will be enabled alongside staff Early Access. This will allow staff who want to take advantage of collaborative features in Google Suite with students during Early Access the ability to do so.
During the 2018-2019 school year, Google Suite will be the primary method that students use to create and access documents on both iPad and iMac.
Does this mean we are moving away from Schoology and/or iPads?
No, the district is still using Schoology as its Learning Management System and is still using iPads for our Digital Learning Initiative. In fact Schoology will gain additional features because it integrates with Google Suite for Education.