Google Apps @ UA

As a University of Arizona student you have access to a range of Google applications for free—and in fact you already have an account. In addition to your email (Gmail/Catmail), you also have access to the following:
  • Google Drive: An online drive (like an online version of a flash drive) which can be linked to your computer to keep files backed up securely (this is a great tool to share large files as well, including photos and videos).
  • Google Docs/SpreadSheets/Slides/etc.: These applications are located within your Google Drive. Using these you can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms/surveys and drawings. All of these can be saved/printed in common formats (including as a PDF) and opened in comparable programs like Word, Excel, etc.; they can be worked on collaboratively with other people online as well.
  • Google Talk/Hangouts: A chat and instant messaging tool which can also be set up in Gmail to integrate with a Google+ profile which will allow you to video chat (Google+ video chats are known as Hangouts).
  • Google Calendar: A comprehensive personal calendar that can be shared with others.

Tip: Multiple Google Accounts

To access private UA materials you will have to login to Google Apps using your UA Account information. This can be confusing if you have another Google account, but it's really very easy once you get the hang of it.  All you have to do is access your profile up in the top right and switch! (You will need to enter your full UA email address into the username area if you are not yet logged in with that account.)

Why Google Apps for Ed??

If you're not sure why using these applications, which save everything and keep it backed up for you, allow you to easily collaborate, and are used in businesses across the world to conduct work together - read this delightful post about how Google thinks Isaac Newton would have used Google Apps.
Newton Sharing a Google Doc

Using Google Drive

Accessing Google Drive from Catmail

Follow this link or if you are already logged into your Catmail you can just select the Drive link from the bar at the top of the page. Note: If you are having issues with Catmail or other UA services you will need to contact 24/7 IT.

Then you will see the main Google Drive Welcome page which will walk you through getting started.

Setting up Drive = Free Automatic File Backup

As the above screenshot indicated under Accessing your Google Drive, you may want to install Google Drive for Mac or PC if you have not installed it already. If so, you can follow the prompts to install (it's free! You should do it!).

Note: Setting up your local Google Drive folder to sync with your Google account provides a great avenue for letting you work on documents when you may not be connected to the internet and for keeping your work automatically backed up online. Rather than uploading all of your work to your Google account later, you only have to connect your computer to the internet, and everything you worked on in that folder will automatically appear as Google Docs in your account! This time-saving step is well worth considering.

Once you have installed Google Drive, to complete the process of syncing your local Google Drive folder with your Google Drive account, you must select the Google Drive icon on your computer.

To sync your files, follow these steps:
  1. Select the Google Drive icon (shown above)
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Sign In
  3. Follow all prompts until you are Signed/Logged In
  4. Then on the Getting Started message that appears, select Next
    • Decide if you want to sync all of the files in your Google Drive account or only specific folders that you have set up. (Note: Any files that are not located within a folder in Google Drive will automatically sync.) If you want to limit the syncing, select Advanced Setup. If you just want to sync everything, continue with these steps:
  5. Select Start Sync
  6. When they sync is complete, you will see a success message!!
Now your account is set up to automatically sync your computer's local Google Drive folder with your online Google account anytime you are connected to the internet!

Using Drive like Microsoft's Office Programs

Follow these steps to create a new Google Doc:
  1. From your online Google Drive account, select the red Create icon on the upper left area of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select the type of document you would like to create—in this example, a Document. You will now see an empty document ready for editing.
  3. To name your document, select the text Untitled document and type your new name over it.
  4. A pop-up window may prompt you for your new document name. Type in the name you want and select OK. You can continue to make content and formatting edits to your document similar to how you do when using a word processor like MS Word. Note: Edits you make to google files are automatically saved as you edit!
Important: If you're creating something to turn in then be sure to indicate your name, the course name and the subject of your document or title of the assignment in the title if you're planning to SHARE it but not turning it in to a Dropbox (i.e. BBrown PSY101 - Final Research Paper). It's always a good idea to re-read your assignment instructions in case your instructor has requested a specific name for your assignment and to include the course name and semester somewhere in the document itself just to ensure it remains associated with the correct course.

Repeat the above steps to create other document types. Google's available document types include documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and drawings. You can also access the Template Gallery by selecting this link (when you are logged into your Google account): https://drive.google.com/templates

Uploading a video (or any other type of file) to Drive

To upload a video to Google Drive as part of an assignment, follow these steps:
  1. Upload your file to Google Drive using the Upload icon in the upper left area
  2. Choose Files... (or use drag and drop) and select the video file you want to upload from your computer, then wait for it to upload (a box will appear on the bottom right which tracks the upload for you). If you have issues with this process or with the file type you upload, please see the Video Files in Google Drive page.
  3. If you need to rename the file after you have uploaded it to your Google Drive, select the file by checking the box to the left of the name, choose the More icon from the bar at the top of the Google Drive page, then select Rename from the options available to you there.

Uploading files from Drive to D2L

Any of the items in your Drive (Document, Spreadsheet, Slides/Presentation, Drawing, etc.) can be downloaded and then uploaded into D2L - the instructions below are specifically for a Document but the only difference for a Spreadsheet or Slides would be your choice of file type when you download the item. (Note: If you want to share a file that is not created using Google Docs you will need to use the sharing instructions above to turn it in through sharing instead.)

Follow these steps to upload a Google Document to D2L:

  1. Select the check box next to the document from your Google Drive account.
  2. Select the More box on the top menu.
  3. Select Download... from the drop-down list. 
  4. A pop-up menu appears to Convert and Download your document. Use the menu to select the file type you wish to convert your Google Doc to. The default for a Document is Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), but you can select from HTML, Open Document, PDF, RTF, Plain text, and Don't download (skip). Recommended: File types .doc or .docx are preferred for uploading to D2L's Dropbox.
  5. After making your selection, choose Download.
  6. Once the download is complete, open the document and save it to your computer.
  7. Log into D2L and upload your assignment from your computer to the Dropbox as normal.
Tip: If you have your Google file open you can also use the File menu to Download it in another format.

File Types You Can Upload to D2L

The above steps cover the file types available for converting a Google Document, but there are many other file types that Google can convert to if you are working with a Google Presentation/Slides, Spreadsheet, etc.  Go with the Microsoft option (.docx, .pptx, etc.) when it is available. When it's not, we suggest PDF (.pdf).

Sharing files from your Drive

Sharing Google Docs

To share any file in your Google Drive (including an uploaded video if you need to submit it for a class assignment), follow these steps:
  1. Locate the file in your Google Drive file list and select the name to open it.
  2. Select the blue Share button in the top right area of your screen.
  3. Since items you create in Google Drive are automatically Private (only visible to you and those with permission and UAZ login credentials), you must first change its access settings. Locate the Who has access area and select Change...
  4. Choose University of Arizona to make your document visible to anyone with a Catmail Google account (Note: Not all instructors have one, they have to opt-in to link their email to Google Apps), or choose People at University of Arizona with the link to only share your file with specific people at UA who you've shared the link with. Select Save.
  5. Select the Can View option to change whether those who access your file can view, edit, or comment on your document. Select Save.
  6. A link is automatically created under the Link to share field. You can now copy and share your link or you can add people to your document directly from your Google contacts and then choose whether to notify these people via email or not and whether to send a copy of the email to yourself. You can also copy and paste this link anywhere you choose. Anyone who receives your link can use it to view your file, provided that they have a UA Google account (which is necessary to access the link).
  7. Select Share and save. Select Done.
Note: Your Google Doc will be timestamped when you share it with others. So, if you are turning it in to an instructor by sharing it, they will see the date and time it was shared with them.

Google Communities

Students: Using Google+ Communities

Our Google+ Community

Google Hangouts

Students: Using Google+ Hangouts