Students Can Collaborate More Easily with MocoMail, Google Apps
Goodbye MCmail, and hello MocoMail and Google Apps! In July, Moravian College officially switched all student email accounts to MocoMail, powered by Gmail, a feature-filled email service that provides a bevy of exciting new apps. The transition, which had been planned for nearly two years, answers the call from Moravian’s student body to “Go Google.”
“Students really asked us to go to Google,” said Steve McKinney, CIT director at Moravian College. “This is a response to that desire.”
While MocoMail and Google offer an array of new services and features, Jim Beers, network and telecommunications manager at Moravian, believes students likely first noticed the new email services’ increased storage space compared to its predecessor.
Previously, students had just 100 megabytes worth of email space. In MocoMail, students receive 25 gigabytes – calculated, that’s nearly 256 times the space. “One of the biggest issues that we, as an institution, faced was that 100 megabytes isn’t a lot of space, so students’ mailboxes filled up quickly. If they didn’t maintain them over the course of a week, their email would fill up and there would be bounced messages,” said Beers, who spearheaded the Going Google transition team. “This will eliminate bounced messages.”
Likewise, the College’s move from the X:drive, network storage located on a server on Moravian’s campus with limited off-campus accessibility, to Google Drive provides students with a significant increase in storage space, nearly 50 times what was previously offered. Another advantage is that students can now easily access files from any computer, smartphone or tablet, and can share content with anyone within just a few clicks.
Google Calendar, Docs, Slides and Sheets also allow students to share their availability and class work with similar ease. Need to immediately contact a fellow student, but don’t have their contact information? Google Talk, an instant messaging service that students receive just by having a Gmail account, is readily available as well. CIT will offer support for core apps, but may expand their support as students become familiar and use the more than 80 available apps.
We had to make sure we dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s because we wanted to give the students something that worked correctly from the start.”
– Jim Beers
Accessibly to fellow Moravian students is the real advantage of the students’ switch to MocoMail and Google, notes McKinney. “Whether you are using a text document and talking on a video chat, the ability to collaborate is what people will notice,” he said.
Users should be cognizant of their responsibility to protect the information they are placing on the Cloud, warns McKinney. Personal information should safeguarded and stored or shared only with a trusted, secure source.
In the weeks since the student email conversion, the process has encountered only minor hiccups, with accessibility from mobile devices being the most prominent. This issue was often corrected by selecting a new password.
“There was a lot of work that went into this process,” said Beers. “We had to make sure we dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s because we wanted to give the students something that worked correctly from the start.”
President Bryon Grigsby’s strong support for adopting Google for education accelerated the transition of the entire campus community to the new platform. Faculty and staff will join the students on MocoMail by the end of the fall 2013 semester.
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