If you haven't heard, the University of Minnesota has contracted with Google to provide the Google Apps suite to the University of Minnesota. To begin with, Google apps, such as Gmail, are going to be opt-in. UMM users should be able to opt-in towards the end of October. Beginning in Spring 2010, new students will automatically be set up with Gmail accounts.
Get acquainted with Google Apps for the University of Minnesota by visiting the Google Apps Collaborative Learning Space. This site includes step-by-step lessons including instructor-led video presentations.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.