The NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) will start migrating its 1.5 million school students off the current Microsoft Exchange email system and on to Google's Gmail from next week, the department's chief information officer Stephen Wilson said today.
"We'll be deploying the first of those Gmail accounts next week and will be complete by the end of November," Wilson said today, speaking at an Australian Information Industry Association even in Sydney.
The move to Gmail was decided in June after DET had selected SMS Technology and Management, Telstra and Google to deliver the hosted email service to students. SMS will maintain and support the system over the coming three years.
"We've reached an agreement and are about to roll out Gmail for all students, and I think we're the largest deployment of Gmail in the world," Wilson added.
Students and teachers had previously used Exchange/Outlook for email; however, the move to Gmail will see the two groups operate under different systems. The teachers' email will be migrated to Microsoft Exchange 2007 and their addresses will now come under a common domain name as part of DET's efforts to centralise its infrastructure.
Wilson also highlighted the department's plans to equip students with web 2.0 tools, such as wikis, blogs, and beyond the six gigabytes of storage that comes with Gmail, a further four gigabytes of storage hosted by the department.
"It's a place where students can store files and receive homework," he said.