FirstClass Retirement Project Update

The project to retire FirstClass in May 2018 continues to progress. Last fall and spring, the project team collected information from faculty, staff, and students about how they use FirstClass and which features are most important to them. The team is using the information to identify and recommend FirstClass alternatives to faculty, staff, and students as they transition off FirstClass.

What’s happening now?
The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and members of the FirstClass project team are meeting with faculty, departments, and organizations to assist them with the transition to alternative solutions for FirstClass conferences. The options include Blackboard, Google Apps (Google Drive, Google Groups…), Listservs, UMaine Portal, and Box. For information about FirstClass alternatives, a matrix that lists all FirstClass features and alternative solutions that provide similar features can be accessed here.

UMS IT staff have developed support materials and processes to help faculty, staff, and students to migrate email, contacts, and stored files from FirstClass to Google Apps or Box. Additional Google Apps training sessions will be scheduled for this fall starting with sessions scheduled for September 11. To register for a session go here.

If you are using a FirstClass conference for your department or group, workshops are scheduled for September 21 and 28 that will provide an overview of available options to FirstClass conferences. The workshops will cover the functions offered by each of the alternatives and their strengths and weaknesses and will guide attendees about how to prepare for the FirstClass sunset. To register, please go here.

What can I do now?
All UMaine faculty, staff, and students have a UMS Gmail ( account. If you are using FirstClass as your primary email account, you will want to start the transition to Gmail. If you have questions about how to get started please email

If you are a faculty member who needs assistance transitioning from FirstClass course conferences to an alternative course delivery solution, please contact CITL at or 207.581.3333.

If you subscribe to listservs and use your FirstClass address for those lists, you will want to change your email address with the listserv provider. You will also want to make sure to change your email address with online services.

Questions and comments can be sent to