SHS to transition to Google Accounts

May 1, 2017 — by Michael Zhang

Joining thousands of organizations and businesses, the school is implementing Google accounts for both students and staff.

According to assistant principal Brian Safine, the staff is transitioning to these accounts May 2, and students will receive school Google accounts next August. Staff members are transitioning away from using the Outlook email system that have had for many years, but their email addresses will remain the same.

At this point, the format of the email usernames has not been determined for students, but will it will not contain their full name or entire ID number in an effort to protect privacy, according to IT manager Julie Grenier.

Grenier foresees many benefits to this transition, especially for students. For one thing, managing school-related accounts will be easier since there will only be only one account to keep track of for each person.

“Students will have one account, their G-Suite email account, to access the school WiFi, Aeries, Canvas and other school-assigned accounts,” Grenier said.

It can also help students keep their work organized, since they’ll have access to apps such as Drive and Calendar.

The district’s technology team is trying to create an online portal where students will be able to reset their WiFi passwords. Under the current system, students are required to go to the library or ask one of the technology staff members to reset or change passwords.

These new accounts will also all be under the same domain, providing benefits for the the district and teachers as well, such as ease of contacting students, Grenier said.

“We wanted to be mindful of giving students the freedom and responsibility of having personal accounts but we also realized the need for the district to have a unified way of reaching students,” Grenier said.

Although it is only a matter of time before students will be able to access these accounts, the tech staff has been working since January to make this change possible.

One major struggle the team has faced so far is integrating different systems together with the Google accounts, including Aeries and Canvas, because there are no centralized username and password systems.

During summer break, every student’s current WiFi account will be deleted, and the new ones will be made, Grenier said.

“Sometimes switching directions takes time, and the entire migration process is a challenge in itself,” she said.

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