Also see Education Edition FAQ from Google
A: There is no cost for staff or students to use this resource, and none of the resources contain advertising.
Q. How do I create my own site?
A: Go to SITES and "Create a new site". From there it's as easy as filling in a form.
Q: When someone shares a Doc with me, does that impact my storage limit?
A: No. This is a fundamental shift in what you may be used to. When I share something with another user, I'm not sharing a copy of the file - I'm just granting them access to that file. So it doesn't matter if I share a 50 MB file with 1 or 1000 people, it only ever uses 50 MB of space on the account of whoever "owns" it.
A. Google Apps (Google Applications)
Q: Where are my files stored when I upload them Google Docs or Sites?
Edmonton Public Schools & your school do NOT maintain copies of these files. While Google servers are very secure and reliable, if you wish to keep local copies of important files, you can easily do this by saving to a USB drive, or to the local drive of your personal computer. To save a copy of all of your Share (Google) Docs, simply follow the "export" instructions. Please read the Privacy Matters page for more information on data security and privacy, including the section on how the Patriot Act (US) impacts your data.
A: Google Docs are accessible from anywhere on any type of computer no matter where you are. You do not need to have MS Office or any software besides a browser installed in order to use them. They are full-featured productivity tools. You can easily upload entire folders of MS Office documents to Google Docs and they will be automatically converted to online, Google Docs versions. Let's say you have 40 PPT shows you use with your students. Upload them all, then simply share them with your students. Then they can see them anywhere, anytime - even on their iphone, ipod, or iTouch.
Q: What kinds of files can I upload to Share DOCS and how much space do I have?
A: You can upload almost any type of tile to your Google Docs - so you can use it to store all of your files online. This includes videos, audio, Smart Notebook, photoshop files, etc. When you upload any Microsoft Office files (doc, docx, ppt, pptx, xls, xlsx) as well as PDF files, text files, etc., they are converted to online documents. You can upload and share other types of files (up to 1 GB each) up to a maximum of 1 GB per user (you're right- if you did that you could only save one huge, honkin' file). This 1 GB limit does not include any file which are converted to online documents, so you really want to convert your Office files to online (Google) versions. The benefit of this is they are then viewable and editable on any device with a browser (think iPod, iPad, iPhone, netbook, etc.) and have no need for MS Office.
Q: What kinds of files can I upload to SITES or DOCS?
A: You can upload most types of files, including Smart notebook files, Office files, music, videos, etc. to "Filing Cabinet" pages on a site. However, since you can now upload any type of file to your Google Docs, uploading to Google Docs makes much more sense as you can control access to your docs on a very granular level.
Q. What if Google Apps becomes too expensive for the district (it's currently offered at no charge), or otherwise becomes unavailable?
A: Google could eventually charge schools, but this is a very low risk. They make billions from search - and while Apps isn't making them money yet, it is close to breaking even and moreover serves their purpose of getting/keeping people using Google to search. They currently have over 11 million students using Google Apps (for free) and in our discussions with Google representatives it is not in their plans to charge for these tools.
Q. I'm moving from one school in within the district to another (e.g. staff transfer, moving from elementary to middle school to high school changing schools, etc.) - what happens to my Google docs, sites, mail, calendars, etc.?
A: Nothing...keep on rockin'. Your Google Apps account stays with you as long as you're in the district.
Q. I'm leaving the school district (e.g. staff leaving/retiring, student graduating, student moving to another district) - what happens to my Google docs, sites, mail, calendars, etc.?
A: Once you are no longer in our active directory (our list of all staff and students), your account is suspended, then eventually deleted. Before you leave the district, be sure to take your stuff with you: