Illustration: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
This summer season the College of Ottawa’s Data Know-how Division introduced by electronic mail to all college students that their emails will migrate from Google’s mail platform Gmail, to Microsoft’s Outlook platform.
Whereas staff on the U of O have been utilizing Workplace 365 for the previous few years, college students have been utilizing Gmail and G Suite for varsity associated duties.
The migration from Gmail to Outlook might be going down in phases all through the following few months with some college students ready till 2021.
With the web fall semester set to start on Sept. 9, the College is taking additional steps to make sure that all college students can take part of their programs from wherever they’re on the earth as many have chosen to be taught remotely.
Nevertheless, worldwide college students are dealing with extra difficulties in terms of on-line studying.
Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, supervisor of Media Relations at U of O, defined switching electronic mail applications will hopefully overcome some geographic restriction points.
“The primary motive [we switched] is that some international locations block Gmail. That is out of our management and prevents the College from speaking with a few of its college students in different international locations,” mentioned Mailloux-Pulkinghorn.
“And provided that the pandemic dictates that we proceed to undertake a web-based course mannequin for the upcoming semester beginning in September, it was needed to begin migrating college students this summer season.”
International locations which have restricted entry to Google merchandise embrace China, Iran, Crimea, and Myanmar. In lots of circumstances, Gmail should still be out there for private use, however the authorities restricts its use for enterprise and academic functions because of privateness considerations.
After switching to Outlook, college students who beforehand couldn’t open their scholar inbox from their residence international locations may have entry once more.
Safety is one more reason why the College of Ottawa is switching to Microsoft. added Mailloux-Pulkinghorn.
“Additionally of significance given the variety of hacking makes an attempt in opposition to the College group, is the funding in safety they’ve included into their merchandise.”
Contemplating the latest hacking points that functions like Zoom have skilled this previous summer season, the U of O administration expressed considerations relating to the safety of their college students’ and employees’s private info.
Comparability of applications
As per the college’s electronic mail, there might be no have to switch recordsdata saved within the Google Cloud to Microsoft’s OneDrive. Emails, calendar entries and contacts will robotically be transferred from their Google account to their new Workplace 365 account.
Very similar to GSuite, Workplace365 will proceed to permit college students to function applications on each cell units and thru their browser. College students who’re extra comfy working with Google Docs, Slides and Sheets might proceed to make use of these on-line instruments.
Usually, the Workplace Suite of functions requires a paid subscription however they are going to be supplied to College of Ottawa college students free of charge as a part of their Workplace 365 accounts. As nicely, Microsoft functions might be downloaded regionally as desktop functions, which in distinction to Google Docs and different Google apps, are all the time out there offline by default as soon as in your private laptop.
All Microsoft functions you put in from the College of Ottawa might be related to your OneDrive account the place all recordsdata might be saved to preserve area in your laptop. If college students don’t need to save recordsdata to their OneDrive, they’ll additionally save work regionally on their laptop for simple entry and enhancing.
The migration to Workplace 365 will present college students with limitless on-line storage on Outlook so there might be no want for deleting or saving emails with a purpose to save area. As nicely, college students may have entry to Microsoft Groups, Phrase, Excel, and PowerPoint.
After the e-mail from the College, college students had been initially involved about the potential for shedding entry to Google Drive, the place many faculty tasks and assignments have been saved.
“Once I first discovered about it, my first response, like many, was what was going to occur to my Google Drive,” mentioned Chukwuemeka Ajaero, a fifth-year software program engineering scholar. “I’ve 4 years value of studies and assignments that I didn’t need to should manually obtain out of the concern of getting it. [But] we bought an electronic mail from the college mentioning that they’d notify us a few weeks earlier than the migration will happen and that it gained’t have an effect on our G Suite instruments.”
“I don’t thoughts utilizing Outlook though I choose having the whole lot underneath one umbrella,” added Ajaero.
Michele Lamarche, a fourth-year psychology scholar is blissful the change will profit each home and worldwide college students.
“As a lot as I miss Gmail, I’m glad that our worldwide college students, particularly these unable to entry Gmail of their residence counties, will be capable to entry their U of O electronic mail.”
Splitting the usage of electronic mail, functions and cloud storage to 2 separate platforms might trigger confusion for some college students, however the platform migration is likely to be an incentive for college students to make use of extra Workplace 365 merchandise. College students who want to switch their Google Drive recordsdata into their OneDrive can accomplish that utilizing just a few totally different strategies.
Updates on the migration course of might be discovered on the College of Ottawa web site.