Apps for Education v. public version

Now that our district has integrated Google Apps for Education (GAFE, for short), I am thrilled and disappointed in the features and limitations I’ve discovered.

One big advantage is that now almost everyone I work with has access to be able to share documents, calendars, and all kinds of great stuff through our GAFE domain, and I didn’t even have to change my email (the GAFE version works though your current domain, so users simply add features without really having to switch email addresses.

Downside: those of us who already used the public version have to systematically share, move, migrate, copy or otherwise figure out a way to get from the regular Google version into the school domain. A big hassle. My major complaint: those of us who championed this move have the most work, not the least. We had a few teams already using Google public version, and now they have to do more work than those who are starting up from scratch.

The biggest difference I have seen is that there are some restrictions that make it difficult or impossible to make certain things happen outside our domain. For instance, if I want to change the owner of a document to someone outside the domain, I am not able. Likewise, I cannot change a regular Doc to the GAFE domain as an owner.

I also already miss the iGoogle page, which, as far as we can tell, is not offered on the GAFE version. That is where I liked to see all of my email windows, news, etc. I wonder if that feature will be added to the GAFE version later.


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