I have been reviewing many questions recently about storing data in the Cloud. With so many districts moving to Google Apps I decided to put together some resources on data ownership and privacy. I hope you find this helpful:
Who owns the data that organizations put into Google Apps?
They keep your data as long as you require them to keep it.
You should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.
The best tool for taking your data with you is Google’s Data Liberation Front at http://www.dataliberation.org/. You can even use this tool to export all of your Google Docs out of your personal Google Account and import them into your school Apps account.
In Google’s Security Whitepaper, they cover, in detail, some of the issues we find ourselves talking about with Administrators and even Board of Education members before we can utilize Google Apps. Some of these issues include:
Google corporate security policies
Systems development and maintenance
Google Apps is a technology platform schools can trust
They offer Google Apps Education Edition to schools for free. It’s also completely ad-free — which means your school’s content is not processed by Google’s advertising systems.
To reduce exploit risks, each Google server is custom-built with only the necessary software components, and the homogeneous server architecture enables rapid updates and configuration changes across the entire network when necessary.
I’m hoping folks will find this information useful as they field questions from their colleagues and possibly even parents of the students they work with.
Demonstrate a proven background in professional development or technology training
Demonstrate areas of expertise in educational technology
The requirements for maintaining certification include:
Acting on behalf of Google
Log training events (3/quarter) – attendance, topics, dates
Stay up to date with all the latest features/releases
Participate in the community
Maintain qualification (additional exams)
I’m excited to bring this to the Center and to New Jersey. I hope that being connected to this new community of learners will give me new ideas, inspire me to stay current, and open the door to additional collaborations.
This was the largest Google Workshop for Educators that Cue has run with about 130 educators attending. Educators rotated through a total of 10 sessions including:
Search Part 1
Search Part 2
All the sessions were hands-on and the tech staff from Minot (including Brian and Alicia) kept everything running smoothly. But besides the poem, what I really wanted to share were the speed demos that we all chose to present at the conclusion of the first day. Now, I will tell you that Steve wanted to call them “Steve Dembos”, but we didn’t have time to take an official vote. These are the tools that we each had 3 minutes to demonstrate to the group:
Back in October, I posted about some of the updates Google had made to Google Docs. Well, today they rolled out some additional features that I thought you might be interested in.
The one that is most important to me is that Google Docs will now allow you to see other Collaborators changes in real-time as they type. This may sound familiar to you if you are a Wave user, but what it sounds like to me is the chat feature that so many of us have been requesting in this app. You can get a peak of this character-by-character real-time function in the video below.
Additional features that you may be interested in are:
Creating collaborative drawings from the Docs list rather than only from within a Google Doc
Increased speed in Docs, so you should be able to edit with up to 50 simultaneous users (rather than the actual 10-12 synchronous users that most of us have experienced)
You’ll notice a ruler within your document for help with adjusting margins
Additional ease with moving images and formatting your documents
It all started a couple of weeks ago at the Google Teacher Academy for Administrators. Hank Thiele and Cory Pavicich did a fifteen minute segment on how to effectively use your Gmail. I have to admit, that even though I’m a major Google Apps user, I was still pretty much relying on Microsoft Outlook to keep myself organized. I must have been crazy.
When Hank and Cory started speaking I had over 14,000 e-mails in my inbox. I am happy to report that as of today, just about 14 days later, I am at inbox zero. Here’s what I did:
I was not archiving my e-mails at all. When you archive an e-mail it moves out of your inbox, yet it will still come up in your search results. All you have to do is click the Archive button when you are in an e-mail or select a group of e-mails and click More Actions – Archive.
Once I started searching through my e-mails, I realized how much junk was in there. I deleted all the Mailer-Daemons and the solicited coupons /ads / catalogs that had expired.
I created three Labels (or folders) for my mail. The easy ones to quickly lower the number in my inbox were Labels for Twitter, Facebook and my administrator. I started with Twitter and did a search for anything from Twitter and then created a label named “Twitter” and moved it all there. I then did the same thing for Facebook and for my boss.
So, I am proud to say that about 30 minutes after Hank and Cory were done with their presentation, I had reduced my inbox from over 14,000 to about 8,000 just with the first 3 steps.
Over the next week or so I took the following actions to further reduce and organize my inbox:
I created filters for mail coming in and applied them to existing messages. I took a look at the mail each day to see what I was receiving and created Labels and then filters based on what was appearing in my inbox. This took a few days as different e-mails come on different days of the week and it’s easier to organize your inbox a little at a time.
5. Mark as read
I went into each of the Labels that I had created and selected all the mail in the Label. I then “marked as read” and Archived all the messages in each of the Labels to ensure that none would remain linked to my inbox.
Since I accumulated numerous Labels, I began color coding them based on my personal system. But the colors are definitely helpful and if you use the filters, much of your mail will appear in your inbox with the colored Label attached to it. This helps me make a decision quickly as to whether or not it needs my immediate attention.
7. Delete some more
It did get to a point that I was not sure which Label to move some e-mails into and I did not want to make a “Miscellaneous” Label, so I needed to either select where to put things or make a decision as to if it was okay for me to permanently delete them. It was tough at first, but did I really need registration confirmations from January 2008?
8. Starred messages
Since I was used to using the feature in MS Outlook that allowed me to flag e-mails for follow-up, I needed to find a replacement in Gmail. The Starred messages feature in Gmail would accomplish exactly what I needed with a couple of additional features. I took a look at what I had marked in Outlook that still needed attention and Starred it in Gmail. I then click on the “Starred” button and was able to view all of my Starred messages regardless of their Label.
9. Check out a few more things
Subscribe to the Office Gmail Blog to keep on top of new features as they are released as there is an entire Gmail Labs section that is worth taking a look at. While logged in, click on Settings and then on the Labs tab. Here you will see all the Gadgets that have been developed for Gmail. By default, they are set to “disable”, but you can choose those that you would like to enable and then click “save changes”. One that I chose to enable was the “Green Robot“. It changed the icons in the Google Chat window to indicate whether someone was chatting from an Android phone (which I frequently do).
10. Be Decisive
Hank gave a very wise piece of advice. He suggested that when you get a new piece of e-mail, make a decision about what to do with it. Give it a Label. Read it. Delete it. Archive it. But, don’t just leave it there. It took me 14 days to whittle down from 14,000 e-mails to zero. I feel like I’m going to be more responsive to people now as they are not going to get lost in the shuffle. Well, I hope so anyway.
Do you have any Gmail tips to share? I would love to hear them. Please share them here.