Google Apps for EducationGoogle Apps for Education is a 'Software as a Service' (SaaS). ISC has entered into an agreement with Google which currently allows any school to use Google Apps for students, faculty and staff. The Google Apps agreement includes a suite of email and collaboration tools including Google Calendar, Docs, Sites, Groups, and Contacts customized especially for Penn providing stronger protections for security and better assurances for privacy.
A few notable highly used services that are part of the Google Apps package are highlighted below.
GmailGmail is Google's online email client. It has many features one has come to expect from a modern email client, such as message threads, spam filtering, categorization, etc. This functionality is delivered using any modern browser, including the Penn supported browser (Firefox). Gmail comes with 25 Gb of storage which is generally more than sufficient to keep years of emails.
Google CalendarGoogle calendar provides a full featured calendar experience that is integrated with the Gmail offering (as well as other Google services). It includes scheduling, multiple calendar overlays (so one can see multiple calendars at the same time), scheduling assistance and a set of privacy and access control for precise control of your scheduling needs.
Google DocsDocs is the Google online equivalent of other standard office productivity tools, a word processor, spreadsheet, drawing editor and presentation program. All of these provide real-time, online collaboration, which allows multiple users to easily collaborate on documents, presentations, etc. Documents also provide revision history, allow for easy corrections or changes back to earlier revisions.
Video and Voice ChatAll Google apps provide built in chat, voice and video services. It also provides 'hangouts' a multi participant (i.e. more than two) video conferencing service. This further enhances the collaborative abilities of Google Apps.
Google Apps Agreement
The services that Google provides to the University are part of a larger effort being led by Information Systems and Computing (ISC) to actively develop relationships and advantageous terms with leading cloud-computing providers, as well as to develop and make available supporting internal Penn services to ensure optimum advantages for the Penn community. This and future enterprise agreements provide protections and advantages not available in individual “click-through” agreements.
Organizations working with Penn data are urged to use Google Apps only when protected under the master service agreement. Some Schools have already taken advantage of this agreement, to do so, or for more information please contact your local IT Organization or Michel van der List
Please see the Google Apps for Education page for more details on the full scope of the Google Apps services.