Finally: Google Apps project nears finish line

The word "Finally" colorized in primary colors
The word "Finally" colorized in primary colorsZack Russell // The Torch
The Google Apps for Education is nearing it’s April 15, 2016 rollout date here at Lane. The two year project is finally going to give credit students a .edu email address and access to a slew of other Google applications.

For the first time in Lane history, students will receive school-hosted email accounts, powered by Google, with an estimated completion date of April 15. Students will have access to an array of Google Apps, such as Docs and Sheets, and will receive discounts from online vendors with these new .edu email addresses.

“It will depend on the testing results, but we are fairly confident to make that date,” William Schuetz, chief information officer at Lane, said. “We are moving to a paper-free style of education and this is a very important step.”

More than 5 million businesses and 900 million people use Gmail accounts worldwide, according to Google. Many secondary-education schools also use Google-hosted email accounts, one of which being Oregon State University.

Student passwords that are currently connected to MyLane and Moodle will be synced with these new emails. The IT department is responsible for the labor-intensive overhaul as well as educating the campus community about these upcoming changes.

Phil Anderson, Lane technology analyst, says that the team will have to access all MyLane and Moodle accounts to integrate the new emails.

“We will release informational videos to help students who need the extra information, but it will be a simple click through process just like starting any email account,” Anderson said.

One of the most important parts of this update is going to be the test groups that will be working alongside the technology directors.

“It is very important that information about these Google Apps is pushed through correctly,” Ian Coronado, interim academic technology division dean, said.

“We will select groups such as the IT department, ATC student employees, CollegeNow students and send out account claim emails to them,” Schuetz said.

These test groups will be vital to working out the kinks and making sure this new system runs smoothly upon wide-release.

Two years in the making, Schuetz gave some final remarks on the project — “Overall I would describe the project as making steady progress, full of learning moments with lots of refinements along the way.”