Say Hello to Google and G Suite at Bard!

Welcome to Google @Bard!

Bard Information Technology would like to share some important and exciting news with the community.

Bard IT is now ready to widely introduce our Annandale campus to our new email and collaboration platform: G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education).

About 70% of Bard Faculty and Staff are now using Bard’s private G Suite for Education domain for our email and collaboration tools.

Zimbra has served us very well for many years, but the growth of our campus has outpaced the capabilities of this solution. G Suite for Education provides a modern suite of tools that will address our ever-increasing need for email storage and document collaboration, all within an environment backed by a privacy agreement and under our institution’s control.

Our incoming first year students and new faculty and staff have had Bard Accounts provisioned directly in Google Apps and we are slowly rolling out the platform to other areas of campus. Existing accounts can be migrated individually or in small groups and data in each Zimbra account are copied to the new Google Apps account.

Please bear with us as we move this immense project forward in a very personal and hands-on manner.

To request migration to a Bard Google account please contact: HelpDesk@bard.edu, Ext. 7500

Answers to Your Most Commonly Asked Questions:

  • (Your Bard Gmail address will not change to an @gmail.com address.)
  • Everyone can continue to use their preferred email clients (e.g. Mac Mail or Thunderbird) once moved over to the new system. As part of the migration process, we will help you configure your email client while your email folders and messages are being transferred.
  • In order to collaborate on a file in real time in G Suite, all users need to have a Google account. Faculty, please find out ahead of time if your students have been migrated to Google accounts before planning to use G Suite for course-based collaborations.

Benefits of G Suite:

Some of the benefits you can expect from G Suite:

  • Unlimited storage space in Gmail and Google Drive (no more quota warnings!)
  • User-controlled document sharing in Google Drive
  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides applications for real-time document collaboration
  • Google Groups to more easily manage permissions and mailing lists
  • Improved mobile device support
  • Improved security including support for two factor authentication
  • Calendar sharing with editing permissions
  • Files are saved automatically in G Suite applications
  • Google Calendar can also be used to create public calendars that can be embedded on public webpages and made accessible to anyone who views that webpage. You can also create and embed calendars that are only visible to people with Google Apps accounts.
  • Using Google Forms for quizzes and surveys
  • Instant messaging and video chat is available for your department through Google Hangouts
  • Using “labels” in Gmail allows you to organize emails
  • Gmail conversations can be organized into one thread or not
  • Gmail option allows “undo send” for sent email for a period of time
  • Powerful filters and rules for Gmail
  • Robust mailbox search capabilities
  • Using Google Classroom as another option to Moodle
  • G Suite provides document editing and spreadsheet applications to students who don’t have or use MS Office

Migration Schedule:

We will send an email in the coming months asking for coordinators from various areas of campus to help manage migration scheduling and communication.

Faculty & Staff:

Winter and Spring 2017:

Continue faculty and staff migrations from Zimbra to G Suite.

For those of you still using the old email system, if you would like to be migrated before we begin systematically contacting departments and individuals, please reach out to us via the Bard IT Helpdesk! If you are already familiar with Gmail and don’t want to use Thunderbird or Mac Mail, this can often be done via a brief phone call.

Students:

Summer 2017:

Begin migrating the class of 2018 and 2019 student accounts to G Suite.

To help our students understand that their accounts have been moved, the BardMail/Zimbra front page will be replaced with a new “landing page” linking to both Gmail and Zimbra.

Self-migration is available for students who need to use the G Suite tools for their academic work during the semester.

Best Practices:

  • Start any documents or files you would like to collaborate on using G Suite instead of MS Office. Although you can always convert a Word or Excel file to a G Suite file format, you may lose style formatting or data in the process. Therefore, you should begin any forthcoming projects by using G Suite applications from the start.
  • Check any files you have converted from MS Office format to G Suite format for any loss in data or formatting. Also, remember that after you convert an MS Office document to a G Suite document, the original MS Office document will still be available in its original location.If you have not already done so, consider creating folders or organize your files when moving to or creating documents for Drive storage.
  • Consider using Drive storage as a backup for your hard drive’s files and folders.
  • Consider using two factor authentication for access to your Google account.
  • If you have been using a personal Gmail account for Bard business, we recommend that you begin using your Bard Gmail account as primary. This is especially important due to privacy concerns that are addressed with Bard’s G Suite for Education hosting solution.
  • Is it also recommended that you NOT forward your Bard Gmail to another email account for the same reason as above.
  • When sending invites to share a calendar, it is recommended that you send email invites rather than links because anyone who has the link can view the calendar whether they have a Google account or not.