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Windows Thread, Googleapps or liveatedu - many questions - please help! in Technical; So then... We have a long winded school website - currently 37 letters long - ie not very easy to ...
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    Post Googleapps or liveatedu - many questions - please help!

    So then...

    We have a long winded school website - currently 37 letters long - ie not very easy to type - and it's our "official" .sch website as done 5 or so years ago, so can't really be changed.

    Emails have been provided for all staff and students based on first name and surname, so if you have a long name, your email address is coming out at bartholomew.featherstone@... over 50 characters long!

    We are linked with RM we-learn for our provision of email etc, and many staff do not use we-learn for email as it's in their eyes a clunky system.

    How easy would it be to:

    buy a new domain, e.g. schoolname.co.uk

    use either google apps or liveatedu to provide emails for staff (initially) with a simpler structure of email - headteacher@schoolname.co.uk


    So I think this should be do-able -
    buying a domain isn't expensive.

    Is it easy to show google apps that this is an "official" school website, even though it's not got a .sch and will be used only for emails?

    Please reassure me! I'm an ICT teacher with good knowledge of systems, but email settings are not a strong point.

    My plan is to set this up asap, move over say a trial of 10 staff to google apps then maybe a term later extend it to all staff, so that by the summer of 2010, all students have migrated over to google apps.


    Appreciate any feedback/comments you can give me.

    Thanks

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    Ashers's Avatar
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    Setting up the domain etc is quite easy, have you looked at changing your email naming format instead. Also remember that google scans all emails and uses the information to build user profiles etc, possibly other things that they haven't yet openly expressed. Also you need to consider your data security / information retention / administration / email monitoring. I recently read a report in a magazine (can't remember which magazine at the moment) where a University looked at Google and Microsoft as their email solutions, the biggest point against Google was that they could not say where the data was held, and that not all the users on the domain would be held in the same place. They asked the same questions to MS and they said that they could arrange a visit to their data centre and actually show them the devices that held the data.

    This changed the way that I was thinking of going.....Security comes first on my list....

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    emyllis (12th December 2010)

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    Thank you, it's a really detailed answer, and has given me some thought provoking questions, so thanks for that!

    I think more searching is needed to occur with the issue to ensure the right decision is made. It makes me wonder how much thought other schools using google apps have investigated the issues of security etc.

    Have you had any experience with your school using it Ashers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashers View Post
    I recently read a report in a magazine (can't remember which magazine at the moment) where a University looked at Google and Microsoft as their email solutions, the biggest point against Google was that they could not say where the data was held, and that not all the users on the domain would be held in the same place. They asked the same questions to MS and they said that they could arrange a visit to their data centre and actually show them the devices that held the data.
    Are you thinking of The University of California-Davis or Yale? I know the former university initially had fears over privacy, but these turned out to be unfounded and they are now using Google Apps for Education. Yale will probably do the same too, although they haven't made a decision yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashers View Post
    Also remember that Google scans all emails and uses the information to build user profiles etc, possibly other things that they haven't yet openly expressed.
    Not according to their website...

    We offer Google Apps for Education to schools for free. It's also completely ad-free -- which means your school's content is not processed by Google's advertising systems. (Link)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashers View Post
    Security comes first on my list.


    Google is registered with the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement, which helps ensure that our data protection compliance meets European Union standards for educational institutions. (Link)

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    The problem still comes to where they store your data, In the US I believe that the law means that the severs must be on US territory (not sure if this was a federal law or a particular state). The universities in the article were all UK based (Article) I know other Universities have gone down the Google route, but if a Uni can't get the information from Google to satisfy them, then I'm guessing I don't have a hope in hell.

    I haven't gone through the process myself, but the county have spent the last 8 months or so looking at a number of solutions, including MS and Google. The decision seems to be Microsoft, the final trials are going on at the moment, so should find out their decision in the new year.

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    if a Uni can't get the information from Google to satisfy them, then I'm guessing I don't have a hope in hell.
    You have put your finger on a significant issue here. I'm 99.99% certain MS have said somewhere that Live@Edu e-mail is EU data centres only, but Sky-Drive currently isn't. And as posted on a related thread it all seems a bit fluid at present so even if correct now the latter info might change, but ultimately whether you or I are satisfied with what the information you can obtain from either of them isn't the point - it's whatever your nearest expert legal-bod thinks that matters... and at least some orgs who have those on tap appear to think it does matter.

    [Where are BECTA when you need them to rustle up an official position/recommendation eh?]

    Would be interesting to hear some serious takes on why either are OK from any UK edu orgs, preferably schools catering for "legal minors" as opposed to (superficially) "adults", that are using their choice based on a proper expert legal-bod's opinion.

    PS: Have just read the article you posted, which I should have done first sorry. I vaguely thought it might be easier for Unis than schools.. and although only one of three was quoted talking about DPA it was UCL - which makes it something I'm not prepared to dismiss. But why then haven't Google responded (and what does that imply)?
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 14th December 2010 at 10:09 PM.

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    zag
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    Yes live@edu is hosted in Dublin only.

    Read my blog about it here, privacy and hosting is useless argument, many schools and unis are using it so its no problem. I'd be much more worried about the speed and integration of it in your network.

    Replacing Microsoft Exchange with Live@Edu.... NOT SO FAST!! - Blogs - EduGeek.net

    EDIT: Forgot to say we did exaclty the same thing registering a new short domain name for when we become an acadamy. Biggest problem I have found is outlook remembering the old email address and all the problems that is going to cause.
    Last edited by zag; 15th December 2010 at 09:40 AM.

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    emyllis (15th December 2010)

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    Thanks for taking the time to post, having read your blog it appears that there's never anything easy to do with education is there

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    many schools and unis are using it so its no problem.
    Other people doing something automagically making it OK certainly is a "useless argument" e.g. other people commit serious crimes.

    YMMV but I think the security/compliance stuff is a serious factor and one that I would escalate to someone else (AKA cover my backside). Typical edugeeks aren't remotely qualified for it and should not be making random decisions about legal stuff based on what someone said on a forum, or which way the wind is blowing today etc.

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    YMMV but I think the security/compliance stuff is a serious factor and one that I would escalate to someone else (AKA cover my backside). Typical edugeeks aren't remotely qualified for it and should not be making random decisions about legal stuff based on what someone said on a forum, or which way the wind is blowing today etc.
    Well said, that's why I letting the county bods deal with those decisions.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashers View Post
    Well said, that's why I letting the county bods deal with those decisions.
    Yep, I've sat through many an hour of meetings with county bods, their law/data protection people and other network managers about privacy issues and we went round and round in circles for a while.

    The basic conclusion was don't worry about it. Outsourcing email is fine (in the eyes of the law anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Yes live@edu is hosted in Dublin only.
    You're correct in the sense that data can be held in Dublin; however the current guarantee is that Outlook Live data (the email part of the Live@edu service) is held within the EU. Microsoft has two data centres within the EU in Dublin, and Amsterdam.

    The consumer half of the service (Windows Live, including SkyDrive) is held in Microsoft's data centres around the world, therefore there is no guarantee about where that data is held.



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