Google @ CPS (Almost) Here

After years and years of complaints, rage, and frustrated tears at the limits of the old email system, CPS is finally getting gMail.  Well, almost.

The initiative is called Google@CPS and it has its own website here.  After a series of pilot rollouts, Central Office and Networks got it July 23.  Track E folks got it a week later.  Track E students got it (subject to principal discretion) last week.  The big day is Monday the 20th, when Track R teachers and principals get it. See the calendar below. I assume it's all going well because I would have heard otherwise if it wasn't but all you CO, Network, and Track E folks feel free to let us know how the transition is going, what you like or don't like.

When Who How many
June 18 Pilot Group 20+
June 29 ITS, Technology Coordinators,
Pilot Central Office Departments
July 23 All Central Office Staff and Network Offices 1,500
July 30 Track E Teachers/Principals and All Citywide Staff 15,500
August 6 Track E Students* 75,000
August 20 Track R Teachers/Principals 24,000
August 27 Track R Students* 145,000

*Student access will be granted at the Principals’ discretion. The process will be communicated at a later date.


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  • I cannot wait. God bless John Connolly and the Tech Ed team. I hope they stick it through the craziness at central office.

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    Thanks for the shout out about our team (p.s. John C has moved away...sad) - but the big lift was with ITS. Yes, things have been quite smooth and it's a great shift. Our charge now is to help students use it productively and to help schools use it effectively to increase collaboration.

  • As a Central Office user, this has been one of the worst moves ever. Things were soooooo much better for our particular group when we still could use Outlook. I truly hope this works out wonderfully for the teachers and students, but it definitely has it's drawbacks.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    what are those drawbacks?

  • Having everyone on the same system is a definite plus and we are saving a lot of money. There is a lot of help available if you need it. The biggest problems I have heard about have to do with things like mail merge.

    There are some features not available in gmail and some not yet enabled. Change is difficult for some people. I will say that it still takes me a little longer to deal with email than it used to, but it is getting easier.

  • First Class was a waste of resources and expense. How much money was wasted on that system and who implemented it's development?

  • Does this mean that the inefficient e-IEP will be tossed? That was a waste of time and money and was not designed by teachers. They say teachers helped to design it but I have my doubts. They may have teaching degrees but could not have been teachers of students with special needs. The amount of redundancy is ludicrous.

  • The CO switch to Google has been disappointing. The Google user interface is just clunkier than Outlook. The functionality is not as good, and the help is not there when you need it,, so there is lots of lost productivity. Sorting email, organizing email, adding attachments (particularly if you are working from home), email graphics, these things are more difficult via Google. But emails do display your picture if you have one loaded on your personal Google account (cute). It does not seems to be designed for work. The worst of it is that the lost productivity may outweigh the savings. I'd like to see how much we're saving; I don't think it's much. Some of the cost saving measures appear to be more for show than real savings. Anybody seen any real analysis of the savings?

  • In reply to Diogenes:

    Organizing and searching are different. It will take you a little while to determine a system that works for you and get used to the functionality. The savings estimates I have seen are on the order of a million a year. Compared to a $700 million shortfall it isn't much, but I don't think there is a silver bullet.

  • In reply to COwonk:

    More than two weeks ago

    Mayor Emanuel announces budget gap reduced by 50% as a result of structural changes

  • Sorting and organizing email in Google is DIFFERENT, but not necessarily harder at all. It isn't always necessary to organize things into folders as in Outlook because the powerful Google search engine is built right into the email application. I have had a personal gmail account for seven years or so, and finding messages, even from years ago never takes longer than the few seconds required to run a search. I also went to the Google training for CPS. There are lots of options available for organizing one'e email. There may be a little bit of an adjustment or a learning curve, but the system feels quite user friendly so far.

  • ITS is running the gmail release and John Connolly has moved on to another district. The switch from outlook to gmail has its good and bad points. The group running the training was hired instead of using trainers in ITS.

  • Connolly was good and would have helped the rollout. This Passly person is in way over her head.

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