IU students, faculty, and staff have access to yet another online collaboration tool. It’s Google at IU! You might wonder why you should use Google at IU instead of Box.iu for collaboration and storage. Frankly, it’s a matter of personal preference. You’ll find that both services have their pros and cons, so I suggest experimenting to see what works for you.
Understanding your Google at IU account
If you have a personal Google account things can get a little bit confusing once you set up your Google at IU account. First, make sure that your personal Google account and your Google at IU account are separate. Any institutional data you have should be stored in the IU account and not your personal account. Read about institutional data in this IU Knowledge Base (KB) document, and get tips on managing the separate accounts from this KB doc.
To access Google at IU, log in to google.iu.edu and authenticate with your IU username and passphrase. You can also log directly into Google from your browser or mobile app with your firstname.lastname@example.org email address. From there, you’ll be directed to the CAS login page. Note that this address is different from your @iub, @iupui, @iuk, etc. email.
Now that you’re logged in, let’s talk about the apps you can use.
Use your unlimited Google Drive space to share files and collaborate from any device. When you create files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, they’re stored in Google Drive. These files and the folders containing them are private by default, but you can share them with individuals or groups. Visit the Google Drive Help Center to learn how to share files and folders.
You can create private or public calendars with this tool. Share a private calendar with anyone. Embed a public calendar into another website to advertise events. UITS recommends that you use public calendars with Google at IU groupspaces, not personal accounts.
With Sites, you can build simple websites It’s great for non-programmers who want to get a website up and running quickly. You can add interactive Google gadgets and services like calendars, lists, Drive documents, and charts to any page in your site. Use Google Sites are great for individual or group class assignments, personal presentation portfolios, and informational websites. Note that Google apps may pose a challenge to people with disabilities. Consider your audience before using any of the Google at IU services.
Use this tool to host discussions and make plans with a team or organization. You can do things like creating Q & A forums, and organizing meetings and social events. Group administrators can manage member access in other Google Apps (e.g., Sites, Drive, Calendar, etc.).
Google@IU gives you a prebuilt YouTube channel where you can post videos. Keep in mind that IU’s Kaltura video service offers more features than you get with YouTube.
Create a blog easily with the Blogger tool.
You can create an online address book integrated with Google Calendar, Drive, and other Google products. Note that because Gmail is not enabled for the Google at IU, you will access Google Contacts via googlestart.iu.edu or through the Google Apps menu.
That was a brief rundown on what you get with Google at IU. If you want to learn more, check out IT Training’s offerings on the service.
Comment on this post if you have questions or suggestions.