On Thursday, October 27, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) added Google+ to Google Apps at the University of Minnesota, making it available to students, faculty, and staff who already have a University Google account--except accounts affiliated with the Health Care Components (HCC. In doing so, the U of M became one of only 22 universities worldwide that brought Google+ to campus on the launch date.
Google+ enables users to connect with colleagues at the University and beyond. One of the most anticipated features is the Google+ "Hangout," which enables up to 10 people to have a video chat together.
Google+ will enhance collaboration on campus in many ways:
- Students can share their thoughts with a project group, friends, or family circle; have a Hangout with up to nine classmates for meetings or study sessions; and keep up with connections from a mobile device.
- Faculty can host virtual office hours in Hangouts; share information with their class circles; and share published articles with those that might be interested.
- Staff can use Hangouts to meet with a distributed team; share information with a project circle; and keep in touch with colleagues, students, and faculty.
"We hope that by deploying tools like this for the University, people will discover new ways to collaborate and innovate," said Ann Hill Duin, OIT's interim vice president and chief information officer. "I personally look forward to using the multi-point video conferencing feature to collaborate with colleagues systemwide."
For more information about what you can do with Google+ and how to get started, visit the Google Apps for the University support site at www.oit.umn.edu/google.
Please note that Google+ will not be available at this time to those in the Google Apps for Health Care Component (HCC) sub-domain.