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Going Google Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we Going Google?

The technology supporting both SwatFiles and Zimbra (which provides SwatMail/SwatCal) has grown outdated. SwatFiles and Zimbra can't keep pace as new versions of MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android continue to be released.

Will there be ads in my Swarthmore Google Account?

Nope!  Non!  Nyet!  Nein!  No! Google Apps for Education will not have ads.

What Browser(s) should I use to access my Swarthmore Google Account?

We recommend using Google's own Chrome web browser when working within the Google Apps product suite for best performance.  Firefox would be second.

Who owns the data I put on my Swarthmore Google Account?

Our contract with Google states that Swarthmore College (or its students, faculty, and staff) are the sole owners of data stored in Google Apps and ensures FERPA- and HIPAA-compliant file storage, and also specifies that Google has no claim to ownership of Swarthmore’s data nor will they data mine it. Google Drive will be replacing SwatFiles as our file sharing service.

What Google services are available with my Swarthmore Google account?

Current services include:  Mail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

At times you may come across links to Google services that we aren't offering and you'll see a "Service not available" message. 

How reliable are Google Apps? I’ve heard of outages occurring.

Google services go down very rarely -- less frequently than our current services. Google guarantees that services will be available at least 99.9% of the time. You can also check on the status of various Google Apps on their App Status Page or on The Dash (we'll post if there's an issue).

Are Google Apps backed up? I’m concerned about losing data.

Google stores your data on multiple servers in different locations. In addition, Swarthmore has added an additional service for departmental folders. Departmental folders will be owned and managed by the College. This will provide departments with the familiar folder structure.  ITS will migrate data in SwatFiles to Google Drive and will support departments before, during, and after the migration.

Can I log in to multiple Google accounts?

Yes! Here's how to allow multiple Google accounts in the same web browsing session.

I'm excited!  How do I learn more about Going Google?

To learn more about using Google Drive, visit the Google Drive Help Center.

Lynda also offers a Google Drive Essential Training course (login with your Swarthmore credentials).

What is the schedule for Going Google?

Here is the proposed timeline.  We'll keep you updated as the project progresses:

  • Early Fall, 2015 
    • ITS will be the first to migrate ITS to Google Apps, Gmail and Calendar.
  • Late Fall, 2015
    • Identify early adopter departments and requirements. Schedule training and departmental meetings.
  • Late Fall, 2015 and Early Spring, 2016
    • Migrate early adopters to Google Apps, Gmail and Calendar.
  • Spring, 2016
    • Work with remaining departments to identify needs. Schedule training and departmental meetings. Migrate all departments to Google Apps, Gmail and Calendar.
  • Summer, 2016
    • Migrate students to Google Apps, Gmail and Calendar.
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