Although many college students already have a Gmail account, along with their school email and other accounts, Swarthmore College is checking out the education edition of Google Apps service to replace their current service,reports the Swarthmore Phoenix.
Before Swarthmore dumps their Swatmail service, IT is taking a hard look at the practicality of Gmail by undertaking a trial of Google's Education Edition.
"Anytime we want to implement any comprehensive system, we have to test things out," said associate director of Enterprise Systems Glenn Stauffer. "We thought the best way to test things out is to run a limited pilot [of Google Apps] using a selected group of students and staff.
The trial will determine how well Google Apps functions in a higher ed setting.
"We'll take a close look at the performance levels that you get from Google, both in availability and performance of the application," Stauffer said.
Google Apps includes Google Talk, Google Calendar, Page Creator and Documents & Spreadsheets.
The trial will be conducted on a sample of less than 25 students and IT staff members, and will be looking for how user-friendly, time-efficient, reliable and appealing Google Apps are.
"The whole integrated suite of applications is something that we don't offer," Stauffer said. "[Google Apps] has the capability to go beyond e-mail."