Google Suite

Google Suite has a host of applications that you can use in your course, whether it meets on campus or online. It’s fully supported by the University of Maine System.

What Is Google Suite?

Google Suite (G Suite) is a set of online productivity apps for writing documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations, surveys, and more. Those tasks in themselves might not seem very exciting, but G Suite has some unique features that make it one of the most valuable tools in your teaching toolbox.

Work Anywhere

G Suite apps are on the web, not your computer. You can work in them from any device with an internet connection, including smartphones and tablets.

Edit Collaboratively

A slew of collaboration features makes it possible to create, share, and give feedback on documents with students and colleagues simultaneously.

Access Systemwide

All email accounts are also Google accounts, which means everyone in the University of Maine system already has full access to all of G Suite’s apps.

Store Remotely

Changes you make are automatically and immediately saved, so you never have to worry about losing your work (but you can easily undo changes if needed).

How Do I Access G Suite?

If you use the USM MyCampus portal to log-in and check your email, you’re already using Google Suite (a.k.a. G Suite) without realizing it! Our accounts are also Gmail accounts, which is a part of G Suite.

To access the rest of G Suite’s apps, simply click the Google apps icon at the top of your Gmail page, and a dropdown menu with links to them will be displayed. It looks like a waffle, i.e., a three-by-three grid of grey squares. You’ll see this icon at the top-right side of the page in almost all of G Suite’s apps.

Locating the Google apps icon, which opens a menu with links to all G Suite applications

What Does Each App Do?

Google Drive

The hub of G Suite, Google Drive collects everything you make in Google apps in one spot. You can also store any files from your computer in Drive and share them with your students.

Google Docs

Google Docs has many of the same features as your favorite word processing software, with the added bonus of allowing you to edit documents in real time with other people.

Google Sheets

With the power of Google Sheets, you and your students can wrangle large sets of data, transform them with formulas, organize them with filters or pivot tables, and visualize them with easy-to-learn graphing tools.

Google Slides

Google Slides provides a variety of simple graphics tools and animations that you can use to create presentations that illustrate course concepts, or you can have students use it to visually share knowledge and ideas.

Google Forms

You can use Google Forms to create surveys or quizzes for your students, or you can have students employ it to collect data on a research topic. Forms can store data you collect in a Google Sheet and present it in a summary chart.

Google Sites

With the new Google Sites, building an attractive, readable, organized website is simple. You can make your Google Site available to the world or allow only someone with a email address to access it.

Google Plus

Use the Google Plus “Communities” feature as an alternative to Brightspace discussion boards, facilitate group project collaboration, or form a student learning community that continues after the semester is over.

Google Drawings

With Google Drawings, you can create colorful diagrams, charts, and illustrations that you can import into other G Suite apps. You also have the option to export them as image or PDF files for use outside of G Suite.

Where Can I Learn More?

UMS Academy

The University of Maine system has a Google Apps tutorial on its UMS Academy training platform. (Note that this link only works if you’re logged into the MyUSM portal.)

Google Learning Center

Google has its own training site designed specifically for G Suite. Visit the Google Learning Center to find out how to use G Suite apps and integrate them into your courses.

CTEL Learning Designers

Our staff is willing and able to consult with you on how you and your students can work collaboratively in G Suite. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment with a CTEL Learning Designer.