Google Apps for Education (GAE) is a set of online applications that makes communicating and collaborating at school easier and more efficient. The cornerstone of GAE is GMail, Google’s web-based email program, which integrates with Google Contacts and Google Calendar for coordinating schedules. All of these services are hosted online, so email, contacts, and calendars are always accessible from any computer connected to the internet. View Google's Getting Started Guide at for an introduction to how the tools work.
GMail is Google’s web-based email program, which provides users with roughly 25 gigabytes of storage (a number that's continually growing). GMail includes fast, reliable search and powerful spam protection.
Google Contacts is a service that is fully integrated with GMail and serves as an online address book for all of your contacts. Google's powerful search makes finding, editing, sharing, grouping, and uploading contacts fast and easy.
Google Calendar is a fast and simple online calendar application. It lets you see your whole schedule in context – you can easily share and connect your calendar with faculty, colleagues, classmates, and friends at Barnard. You can also easily add the Academic Calendar to your personal calendar, among others offered from Barnard and Columbia.
Google Groups is a mailing list application that allows for easy and quick self-management by the list owner. All Barnard-hosted mailing lists are configured as gBear Groups. The Groups service also serves as a method to have "role accounts" for offices and departments, so that multiple people can respond to inquiries coming to a single address.
Google Documents is a way to collaborate and share documents online. Docs are stored on Google's systems (though you can always download a copy to your computer) and can be viewed and/or edited by any colleagues you give access to. Google supports text documents, spreadsheets, presentations (i.e., slideshows), and online forms, as well as a drawing application.
Note that Barnard College policy states that gBear Docs (i.e., Google Docs) should not be required for coursework and is simply an option for online collaboration. The usual supportive computer programs used for ADA purposes can also be used for gBear Docs (i.e., Google Docs).
Google Sites is a service for easily creating and collaborating on web sites. At Barnard, gBear Sites are chiefly being used for student organizations and for ad-hoc collaboration. (Official Barnard departmental web sites are on the College Drupal CMS, administered by Electronic Communications.)
Your gBear account has access to the full menu of ancillary services: Voice, Picasa, Reader, Blogger, etc. These services are being made available on an as-is, unsupported basis. BCIT will only provide support for the core services (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Groups, Docs, and Sites). We invite you to explore Google's Help Center for assistance with using the wide range of available applications.