Google Suite

The University of Malta has partnered with Google to offer G Suite for Education to all students, staff and alumni.

Information about G Suite services

Shared drives

Shared drives (formally known as Team Drives) allow you to create files that everyone in your team can access, and which remain accessible to the team even if the original creators of the files leave the University. Unlike in Drive, the ownership of files in Shared drives belongs to the whole team, not to the individual person who created or uploaded the file.

All members belonging to the Shared drive can see all the files and folders, but there are five distinct role memberships that can be assigned: Manager, Content manager, Contributor, Commenter and Viewer.

You cannot configure different permissions for subfolders in a Shared drive, so you would need to create multiple Shared drives with different access rights if you require this. External users (non-UM accounts) can also be added for collaboration purposes, provided they have a Google account.

Shared drives can only be synchronised to a desktop using Drive File Stream. Backup and Sync does not support Shared drives.

More information about Shared drives is available:

When to use Shared drives

You may consider using a Shared drive in these situations:

  • You are working with a group of people who all need access to the same files (e.g. projects, events, Departmental teams, etc.)
  • Your files are relevant to most members of your team
  • Your files are related to a specific project, event, task etc. You may wish to create a separate Shared drive for each project, event, task, etc.
  • The content you want to store is not personal and is of interest to a specific team.

When to create files in My Drive instead of Shared drives

You should create files in My Drive if:

  • You are working on personal files that nobody else should have access to
  • You want to draft the document privately before moving it to a Shared drive. After you move it to the Shared drive, ownership of the document transfers from you to the team.

Drive File Stream

Drive File Stream allows you to access Drive files on demand from your PC (as a network drive) without having to download the files on your PC. It also supports Shared drives.

Backup and Sync

Backup and Sync downloads your Drive files on your computer (Sync), and allows you to back up files from your PC onto Drive. It does not support Shared drives.

Google Chat is a messaging platform designed for team collaboration. In addition to the standard chat facility, which allows you to directly communicate with one or more users, you can also create dedicated rooms for your team with threaded conversations, helping you communicate and collaborate better when working across locations.

Chat allows you to:

  • Collaborate in rooms with group discussions with separate conversation threads
  • Message people directly for private conversations with a colleague or a small group of people
  • Share content by uploading items from Drive, collaborate on Docs, Sheets, or Slides, join online meetings with Meet, or search room members, past conversations, and shared files.

Ways to access Chat

More information regarding Google Chat is available.

Google Meet is a G Suite for Education service that can be used for online meetings.

All staff and students can use Meet to organise and join virtual meetings. Individuals outside of the University can join Meet sessions if they are provided with a link URL. If someone tries to join without being signed in to the UM IT Account, the meeting host/creator will be notified and can allow or deny the user from joining the meeting.

You can have a maximum of 100 participants per meeting. For classes or meetings larger than 100 participants, we recommend that you use Zoom.

Meet has a recording feature, however, the recordings will only be available temporarily for 30 days only, and it will not be possible to download them. If you need to keep recordings for longer, we recommend that you use Zoom.

Ways to access Meet

  • Meet is available within Gmail, including the Gmail mobile app
  • Visit the Google Meet website from your web browser
  • Install the Google Meet mobile app on your Android or iOS device.

Scheduling a meeting

You can schedule a virtual meeting using any one of these methods:

Joining a meeting

There are a number of ways to join a Meet session, including:

Managing a meeting

As a meeting host, there are a number of features available to make use of during the meeting:

Other helpful Meet resources (provided by Google).

Keep is a note-taking tool and offers the following features:

  • To-do lists and notes, including checklists
  • Colour code your notes for better sorting and organisation
  • Add time-based reminders and location-based reminders
  • Add notes with audio
  • Add images to your notes
  • Add drawings to your notes
  • OCR - read text from images
  • Share notes with other people and add collaborators to edit notes in real-time
  • Quickly search for notes
  • Add labels to your notes for better filtering
  • Recover deleted notes and reminders (deleted items remain available for seven days).

Ways to access Keep

More information regarding Google Keep is available.

You can still access Gmail and Drive when your computer cannot connect to the Internet. Before you proceed with setting up offline access to G Suite for Education, it is important to read the following notes:

  • You will need to use the Chrome browser to set up offline access to Gmail and Drive.
  • You will need to configure offline access on each computer from which you access G Suite. If you want to enable offline access on both your laptop and desktop computer, you will need to set it up twice - once on each computer.
  • Once you configure offline access, your data will be available on the computer's local hard drive. It is therefore important that you do NOT set up offline access on a public or shared computer.
  • If you have other Google accounts in addition to the University G Suite account, you can set up Chrome with multiple profiles and then enable offline access for each account.

Setting up Gmail offline

Gmail offline allows you to read past emails and compose new emails when you are not connected to the Internet. Any messages that are composed when offline will be automatically sent as soon as you connect to the Internet.

Your data will synchronise in the background while you are working online, so that when you go offline you will be able to access the latest emails from Gmail. If you close Google Chrome while you are online, the sync will stop at that time.

Follow these instructions to configure Gmail offline.

Setting up Drive offline

You can set up offline access for Drive in Google Chrome, which enables you to access your files whenever you have no Internet connectivity. You will also be able to view and edit your Google Docs as if you were still connected to the Internet. If you lose connectivity while working on a Google document, you will automatically be able to continue working uninterrupted.

Please note that any changes you make while offline will only be visible to you, until you reconnect to the Internet.

Follow these instructions to configure Drive offline.

More information about offline editing in Google Docs is available.

Calendar offline

Currently it is not possible to set up Calendar offline on a desktop computer. Calendar offline is only available on the Google Calendar mobile app.

When you use the Google Calendar mobile app while you are offline, you will automatically be able to:

  • view and make changes to events
  • create, edit, or respond to events.

Any changes you make will not sync with your computer or other people's calendars until you are online again.

Data access

The University of Malta is the controller of all data within the University of Malta domain. Google employees only access the domain when given express permission to do so by the University for purposes, such as in the event of troubleshooting.

Google will only scan emails for the purpose of virus and spam protection. The scanning procedures are automated and involve no human interaction.

Data protection

Data held by Google can be located at any of Google's globally spread data centres.

The University of Malta has a GDPR compliant contract in place with Google to ensure data is handled in accordance with data protection legislation. Where data is transferred internationally, EU Model Clauses are used.

Data is processed by Google in accordance with the Google Privacy Policy.

Advertising

Unlike the consumer version of Google services, there is no advertising to staff or students within G Suite for Education. Advertising will only be visible by staff and students when using the Google search engine and other consumer services.

Intellectual Property Rights

Google shall not acquire any right, title, or interest in any Intellectual Property Rights belonging to the University of Malta or its students, staff and alumni.


https://www.um.edu.mt/itservices/gsuite