Google Apps for Education

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Overview

Responding to the needs of its academic community, the University moved email services to Google Apps for Education on January 6, 2015.

Google Apps is a suite of online ‘in the cloud’ * services which includes email, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, messaging, chats, file storage and many other applications. It is the same system URI students and alumni began using in 2010 and has proven to be a successful and important educational tool in our global, online collaborative environment.

For more information about this suite of applications please see the URI is Going Google website provided by Information Technology Services.

Information about student accounts is located in a separate techwiki article about my.uri.edu accounts.

Benefits - Google Apps for Education

The key benefit of the faculty and staff move to Google Apps for Education is that they share the same tools with students. The sharing of documents, files, calendars and numerous Google tools provides a seamless method of collaboration and could improve both academic and administrative functions within the University.

Additional benefits include: improved security, spam filtering and one of the industry’s best guarantees of service availability--99.9% with no scheduled downtime.

Below is a link to a Google site that lists many of the benefits of Google Apps for Education. Note: Items such as Google Vault that are listed as optional are currently not available to URI.

[http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/benefits.html '

To preview Google Apps for Education, see Google's Web page Google Apps for Education - Products.

Google Apps Accessibility

Google Apps for Education provides a resource page that details how Google accounts work with assistive technology. Google has included information for diverse needs and interests, but many of the resources are primarily for blind or low-vision users.

Training

Google provides many online videos and tutorials on how to use Google Apps for Education. Go to the Using Google Apps at Work or School Web page. This site is an index to many other Help and Learning pages for Google Apps.

If you have questions, call the Help Desk at 874-4357 or send email to helpdesk@uri.edu.

Google Chrome

Google has it's own browser that it recommends for use with Google Apps. Although Google Apps work well within any browser, there are some advantages to using Chrome.

URI is not mandating the use of Chrome as it does not work perfectly with PeopleSoft Financials, but for many of the features in Google Apps, we do recommend Chrome.

Google Email: The Basics

Your Google Apps email address consists of your e-Campus ID followed by @uri.edu (ecampusid@uri.edu).

Your New Address

To activate your new email account, learn about settings and personalization, and set up your mobile device(s), consult A Guide for Day One.

For more information:

URI Going Google - Email Question & Answers

Google Apps for Education - Products - Gmail provided by Google.

Google Calendar

The Calendar Application within the Google Applications for Education suite can be used through the Google Web interface by logging into google.com with your ecampusid@uri.edu and password. To learn how to use this application, Google has a Using Google Calendar Website with links to articles on many of the features.

You can also import an existing calendar from Outlook or Apple Calendar programs. To do this, export a comma-separated value (csv) file from your current calendar program and import it into the Google Calendar Web interface. Get more information at migrating your current calendar to Google Calendar.

Google Drive

Google Drive is online cloud storage to which you can securely upload files and folders. They are then available to you from other locations and devices. You can use a variety of devices such as Macs, Windows, and Linux machines as well as Android, iOS, and Windows mobile tablets and smartphones.

You can access your files and folders through a Web browser, but by downloading the Google Drive application, you can more easily upload both files and folders to your Google Drive. While your drive size is not limited, there are constraints on the size of the file that can be uploaded.

In addition, you can selectively share files, folders, and Google Calendars with other individuals or groups. You can choose whether to share viewing or editing rights with specific people or groups and whether they can make changes or just suggestions to your documents.

To learn more about using Google Drive, see Google's Web pages Get Started with Google Drive and Using the Google Drive to Share and Collaborate.

Google hosts learning documentation for the Applications within the Google Drive:

Google also hosts short videos about these applications:



CloudLock

CloudLock makes it possible to find and protect sensitive data (FERPA, PII, PCI, PHI) in public cloud applications such as Google Apps For Education’s Google Drive without negatively impacting our end users getting in the way of their productivity, or limiting their ability to realize the collaborative benefits of the cloud platform itself.

Please see the CloudLock Selective Encryption Getting Started Guide on how to use selective encryption.

Google+

Google+ is a social networking application that is provided as part of the Google Apps for Education suite. It includes a host of applications that are integral to the Google+ interface; these include Communities, Events, Hangouts, and Pages. The basic premise of Google+ is that you create a profile and share it with groups of people to whom you grant access. These groups are called Circles and can be most easily described as a Venn diagram of your friends, family, acquaintances and groups or people that you choose to follow.

An individual can be in one or many Circles. The same group of people can be in several circles. You can also create specific Circles, such as Colleagues, to which you can assign people. When you share (post) information, you determine which circles can see that information or whether you want all of the uri.edu community to see it. You can also make it available to the entire Google+ public group, which hovered somewhere around 343 million in January 2015.

To get started with Google+, Google has provided online learning and help documentation.

A word of caution when creating your profile: Think carefully about where and to whom you make your information available. You have the option of making it available to only you, your Circles, Extended Circles, all of the uri.edu domain, or the public. Some items, such as your birthday, which is required to certify that you are over eighteen, are better restricted to just you.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a free video chat/desktop sharing application. Users can host a video conference for a group of up to ten people, including people not part of the Google Apps for Education suite at URI.

To learn more about Google Hangouts, Google has a Using Goolge Hangouts Website. This page includes a link to device requirements for using Hangouts. The Google Gooru has a short video about Hangouts that may be useful in deciding whether Hangouts is something you want to use.

Google Hangouts could be used for:

  • Office hours
  • Student help sessions
  • Departmental or project meetings
  • Community outreach

Note: the intended audience must be ten people or less.

Google Communities

Google Communities is another option within Google+ that has been made available within the Google Apps for Education suite. Google Communities are online groups where Google+ users can share information, photos, and comments with other community users.

A wide variety of Google+ Communities exist, including some dedicated to sharing information about how to use Google Apps for Education:

You can search for Communities on just about any topic. An easy way to evaluate them is by how many members they have and how many posts have been made. For example, a community with 97,000 members and 146,000 posts most likely has a lot of useful information because members continue to post.

Google with Mobile Devices

Most common mobile devices support the use of Google Mail, Calendar, Docs, and other Google Apps. Google provides extensive documentation on how to set up and use your device with their products.

For more information about mobile devices, see the URI Going Google - Mobile Devices Website provided by Information Technology Services.

Questions and Answers

For commonly asked questions and answers, see the URI Going Google - Questions & Answers Website provided by Information Technology Services.