Is Google Apps really free?
Google Apps Education Edition is free – available at no charge for nonprofit educational institutions anywhere in world. There's no "catch." Google Apps Education Edition is free of ads, so that faculty, staff, and students never see ads in any application – ever.
What's included with Google Apps?
Google Apps includes Gmail and a full range of applications for getting work done, in the classroom and among faculty and staff. Calendar, document (word processing, spreadsheet, and more), forms for surveys or other input, website creation and publishing, video sharing, and group communication are all integrated into Google Apps. Video, voice, and IM chat are also built right in. You can use all of these services or just what you want – it's up to you.
What if I only want to use Gmail, or use other services within Google Apps, but not Gmail?
You select which services in the Google Apps to make available to your domain – or even for specific groups of users.
What are the technical requirements?
You can use Google Apps with any computer or mobile device that's capable of internet access. You don't need any extra servers, IT staff, or hardware. When you're not online, you can use an easy extension to work with your documents. You can import/export your documents into common formats, including Microsoft Office, or add solutions that sync and back up your documents on your computer.
What about reliability?
Google guarantees 99.9% uptime – which exceeds the uptime generally associated with on-premise solutions.
Who owns my data?
Data created and stored within Google Apps is available until you remove it for as long as you maintain an active Google Apps account. If you wish to move data in or out of Google Apps, our tools help you easily import, export, or download information. After you delete an account, we remove the data associated with that account.
Can I customize my email policies, and create different policies for faculty and students?
Yes. Policies include controls for the source, destination, or content of messages. You can set up different email policies for faculty and students using Google Message Security – powered by Postini – currently offered free for K-12 schools or districts. Usage policy for the other services included in Google Apps remain consistent across users in your school.
Can I archive email with Google Apps?Yes, with Google Message Discovery, an add-on email archiving product provided by Google, available to educational institutions at a 66% discount from regular price.
How does use of Google Apps affect compliance with the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)?
Your school assumes the responsibility for complying with COPPA and the information that students submit. Per the Google Apps Education Edition Agreement, any school administering Google Apps Education Edition acknowledges and agrees that it is solely responsible for compliance with COPPA, including, but not limited to, obtaining parental consent concerning collection of students' personal information used in connection with the provisioning and use of the Services by the Customer and End Users.